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David Freese crashed into a tree while avoiding a deer

Nov 23, 2012, 10:05 AM EDT

freese getty Getty Images

Cardinals third baseman David Freese had an eventful Thanksgiving day, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Freese, 29, was south on Wildhorse Creek Road near Rieger Road in Wildwood when he crashed his 2011 black Range Rover into a tree to avoid a deer, said St. Louis County Police Officer Randy Vaughn. The crash occurred at 2:30 p.m.

Freese did not hit the deer, Vaughn said. Freese was already out of his SUV when police arrived. Freese refused medical treatment, and his SUV was towed from the crash scene. Investigators say alcohol was not a factor in the crash and “no other investigations are underway.”

That last part is key because, as the news story notes, “Freese’s record includes several allegations of driving while intoxicated and a crash on an icy road that injured his foot and sent him back to the minor leagues for a time.”

  1. pestiesti - Nov 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Don’t veer for deer, David.

  2. jonirocit - Nov 23, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Hiccups …..thank god it wasn’t a person

  3. Charles Gates - Nov 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I wonder if a member of PETA would premeditatedly crash their car into a tree to avoid a deer.

  4. seahawksbmx - Nov 23, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    When I was young and dumb, I put my car in a ditch after trying to take a wet corner at a high rate of speed. Knowing I had to get out of there before the cops arrived and smelled my breath, adrenaline gave me the strength to get the car out. My dad inquired about the damage the next morning and I told him I swerved to avoid a squirrel. My inner voice immediately called me out (“Dude, a squirrel?”). Although my dad bought the story and is no longer here, for 25 years I’ve felt a dog would have been a better choice of animal for my BS story. A deer…now that’s really thinkin’. I like David’s style.

    • indycoltsluck - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      It’s a plausible story. I knew a guy who swerved to avoid a squirrel in the road, slid into a tree, and ended up crashing so badly that his wife in the passenger seat passed away.

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    How much does Tiger Woods wish he had that “deer caused me to drive into a tree on Thanksgiving” story thought up a few years back?

  6. xmatt0926x - Nov 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Police officer to his partner: “go get the breathalizer test”. After realizing that the driver is David Freese : “Ohh. So you say you were avoiding a deer? Have a good day sir.”

  7. bigdicktater - Nov 23, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    This just in…………reports indicate that Freese was really trying to avoid a Matt Holliday take-out slide but he said “deer” to avoid clubhouse friction in the future.

  8. sjsharksfan11 - Nov 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    He and the Cardinals also came to a crashing end to their season at the hands of the Giants

  9. nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Avoiding a deer. So that’s what the kids are calling it nowadays.

  10. crisisjunky - Nov 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    The big question is whether the airbag deployed. Some 2011 Rovers were recalled for front airbags.
    As a LaRussa disciple, he could have just put the car in park, passed out, and waited for the tree to change to green.

  11. ajcardsfan - Nov 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    For those of you that have been to Missouri/Illinois, deer are a huge pain this time of year. The bucks are chasing the does around and they are frequently crossing roads. I about hit one last week on a State highway.

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Nov 23, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Missouri resident here, and holy crap yes. There are so many of them, particularly in the area that this happened in. All new subdivisions out in the country. Deer love new subdivisions because there are young trees and bushes for them to eat. I 100% believe his deer story. You don’t want to hit a deer because they will destroy the front part of your car.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        On point UCW. They love subdivisions because of the retention ponds as well. I have hit a handful over the years. Fortunately each time the deer got the brunt of the collison. Here in Indiana…the deer population is such a concern for the last several years the DNR is holding special hunts (hunters selected by draw) in a lot of the State parks. Deer wreak havoc when left unattended for long periods of time. Population control is one of several reasons I deer hunt.

    • umrguy42 - Nov 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      I’m currently in central NY, and plenty of deer here. I can look out my apartment balcony doors and on several occasions seen deer cross the road from one patch of woods to another. And have come close to hitting several on the way home over the last few years…

  12. proudliberal85392 - Nov 23, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    So, he missed a wild deer. What about a Wild Turkey?

  13. brandedthefirst - Nov 23, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    He was watching the needle dropping on the gas gage thinking “WTF” !! happens a lot with the bigger guzzlers .

  14. manchestermiracle - Nov 24, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    I’ve been in the towing business for many years. Deer, and other wildlife, have made me a lot of money. Folks tend to not want to hurt an animal (no shame in that) but the difference between whacking a deer, even a pretty large one, is almost never worse than hitting an immovable object.

    You can total your vehicle and badly injure yourself and/or your passenger(s) if you hit a tree. Unless you’re driving a low-slung car, and the animal comes through the windshield, people rarely get hurt hitting an animal. A Range Rover is pretty stout and would likely not incur a whole lot of damage in a dance with a deer, but no vehicle wins when cha-cha-ing with an oak.

    Physics 101 tells you almost any vehicle weighs much more than a deer, thus imparting more energy (and damage) to the deer. It doesn’t take a very large tree to stop a car cold. Even if you mow down some saplings, it’s very likely there’s bigger trees in there with them.

    I’ve towed many cars that have hit wildlife to body shops for repair. I’ve towed many cars that have hit trees to the junkyard. Swerving to miss an animal can, and often does, result in hitting another car or leaving the road and rolling, etc.

    Bottom line: Brake hard without losing control, in order to lessen the impact, and don’t swerve. You have no way of knowing which direction the deer may go and you’d be surprised at how often they end up darting the same way you’re swerving. Drastically reducing your speed gives the animal time to move out of your way. And if they don’t, you hit them at a lower speed.

    If you see one crossing the road ahead don’t assume you’re out of the woods (so to speak). There’s a good chance the one that’s already across has company following behind. Lastly, speeding might get you a ticket, but in deer country it’ll likely be the difference between a hit and a miss, especially going around corners. Slow down and enjoy the scenery.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Well stated MM. Your last paragraph is dead on as well. They typically travel in groups (Doe anyway). Always best to slow down and choose the deer over the tree, car, house, etc…

    • cur68 - Nov 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Agree on all points: slow down in deer country, hit the deer rather than a tree, and, I can’t stress this enough: use good rubber on your car, even if your car is a POS. Crappy tires at this time of year can get you killed.

  15. ducksk - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Dear man miracles, I fell asleep reading your post. This is sports talk. Not repo report. Nice to know your out there for us. Next time I get gouged by one of u rednecks Ill remember the kind, excessively long and boring post u wrote and the great advice. Awesome. Seen joe dirt lately?

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      New around here Chumpstain? Take that shit back to profootballtalk.
      Prior to doing so…please know those skinny jeans you are wearing make you look ridiculous.
      Happy Holidays phuqstick!

      • manchestermiracle - Nov 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Thanks St. Louis. My post was longer than 140 characters so I can see where the attention-challenged would get bored easily. These are the same folks who can’t keep their cars on the road, thus making me money while they whine about the cost of their errors. You know, the kind who watch those stupid repo shows on TV and think they have anything at all to do with the real world.

        ducksie: No, but I saw joe mama yesterday when I pulled her out of a ditch. She whined about the expense so I told her she should call her insurance company. Naturally she didn’t have any. Or a driver license. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Happy holidays.

    • cur68 - Nov 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      I like ducks. I like them flying in front of my Mossberg 500. BLAM! Roast duck for dinner is mighty tasty. Anyhow, manchester’s advice was well worth the read. He might have saved a life with it. What have you done? Bitched about a professional trying to help others.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 26, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        How do you prepare Duck and it NOT be greasy?

      • cur68 - Nov 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        I’ve tried several methods. The one I like the best is allowing your fresh killed, cleaned & gutted duck to come to room temp. Perforate the skin all over (meat skewer is what I use) to about a cm depth, rinse it in cool water, pat dry, then place it in a strainer and pour boiling water on it. Use about a litre. Then season the duck (lots of duck seasoning ideas on the interwebs: I like salt, pepper and fresh oregano), place it in a roasting pan and pour 2 more cups of boiling water over it. Then place the duck in the oven uncovered (the water keeps it from drying out), flip it every half hour or so till it reaches about 73 degrees centigrade internal. Takes about 3, maybe 3.5 hours for a big duck done like this. The drippings will make an excellent gravy, but that’s where all the grease now is so don’t use it all for the gravy. I like to cut it with vegetable stock and wine at about half and half. Let the duck sit for 15 minutes or so after it comes out of the oven: carve and serve hot. And watch out for pellets.

  16. ducksk - Nov 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    This is sports talk blog. Not defensive driving 101. Of course if you’d of finished 9th grade you would have had it. Isn’t NASCAR on?

  17. ducksk - Nov 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Wow Mossberg 500! Impressive. Stick to sports.

  18. skitd - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Proud to be a redneck, and glad the skinny Jeans wearing troll I sucked a duck lives a thousand miles away.

  19. tophermike - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    how long until the internet memes show us Nelson Cruz not crashing into a wall to win the series, while Freese crashes into a tree to save a deer?

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