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Posted on Sat, Jul. 16, 2005

Deer makes dash out of field, rams, injures Steuben worker......

The Journal Gazette

A seasonal worker for a Steuben County seed company was literally bowled over Thursday evening when a deer in a cornfield where he worked ran into him.

Bonito DeLeon, 53, was struck by a deer on the run just before 8 p.m. after DeLeon and several other workers for the Lord Seed Co. in Howe startled a group of the animals resting in the cornfield southeast of Indiana 327 and County Road 400 North near Orland.

The blow threw DeLeon back, sending him airborne and knocking him unconscious, said Indiana Conservation Officer James Price, who was on the scene Thursday.

White-tail deer can run 35 to 40 mph, according to “The Deer of North America,” by Leonard Lee Rue III, a nationally recognized wildlife photographer.

When Price arrived, DeLeon was “barely” conscious, face-down in the cornfield and in severe pain, he said.

“Most of his pain was in his hip and his shoulders,” he said. “He didn’t have any obvious injuries.”

DeLeon was taken by helicopter to Parkview Hospital, where he was tested for internal injuries and released about midnight, said Sherrie Larimer, human resources manager for Lord Seed Co. He stayed overnight in the hospital’s guest house, Larimer said, and she was going to pick him up Friday afternoon.

With the corn 5 1/2 feet tall, the collision, which happened at dusk, was probably just as startling for the deer as it was for the workers, Price said.

According to workers Thursday, three deer, in their haste to escape, circled the workers. One ran to the left of DeLeon, one ran to the right of him and one ran straight into him, a written statement from Indiana Conservation Officers said.

It was an odd event, Price said, and something he bets is rare.

“I would imagine your chances are better getting hit by lightning than this,” he said.
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