MAINZ, Germany — Oh, deer. A young stag that tried to hitch a ride on a bus ended up causing a traffic accident along a solitary country road in southern Austria, according to police.
The animal performed a so-called escape jump through the bus' windshield and landed on the dashboard next to a shocked 53-year-old driver on Wednesday evening, police spokesman Hans Ramsbacher told NBC News. The accident happened near the town of Rennweg in Austria’s Carinthia region.
“The one-year-old stag was in a panic and was kicking his hind legs, with which he hit the driver,” Ramsbacher said. The one human passenger, a 20-year-old local, moved to the rear at the time of the accident, he added.
“When the bus driver made his way to the back as well, he forgot to secure the hand break and the vehicle rolled into a ditch, landing sideways," said Ramsbacher, who estimated the deer weighed around 200 pounds.
After the passenger and driver escaped unharmed through the back door of the bus, "the stag sat down on a seat in the second row, with his back legs on the ground and his forelegs on the backrest of the chair in front of him,” said Ramsbacher, who attended the scene and took pictures of through a broken window.
After a 45-minute standoff, the animal exited the bus through the back and fled into the nearby forest.
Several hunters followed his trail, police said, but have not located the stag.