Deer crashes through LATS bus, driver keeps calm

Deer caught on LATS Bus
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Published July 25, 2022 

This is Alisha Sutton, a LATS driver of 10 months, driving along 2nd Street on a June morning when all of a sudden, a deer smashes through the windshield.

You can see the disoriented doe stand up immediately and wait for Alisha to open to doors to let her back out.

“I was like, I guess I gotta slow this bus down,” said Sutton. “I slowed it down and brought it to a stop right there in the road. And I wanted to get her off the bus. I was afraid it was going to try to run to the back of the bus and get hurt, try to escape that way.”

Sutton says there’s a process to opening the door that was done in a matter of seconds before calling dispatch.

“Ma’am, a deer just jumped through my window,” Sutton reported. “It was on the passenger side – it got stuck on the bus. I opened the door and it jumped out.”

LATS General Manager Ryan Landers praised Sutton for how she kept her composure through it all, saying she did everything by the book.

”I was very happy to see how our driver handled the situation,” Landers said. “She was very cool, calm and collected. She did not panic, she did all the right things that you’re supposed to do on the safety side of things and ironically, on the customer service side of things.”

Drivers with LATS go through at least four weeks of training and Sutton says she’s grateful she knew just what to do, especially after driving for more than 20 years.

”I was a truck driver, school bus driver, safety coordinator, driver trainer,” Sutton said. “I’ve had a lot of training and safety things going on in my life. The main thing was slowing the bus down, keeping it steady, don’t break or swerve just slow down and bring the bus to a stop as safely as you can.”

Moving forward, Landers says training may have to change a bit to prepare drivers for even the wildest incidents.

”I think this speaks volumes to the dedication our staff goes through to make sure whoever we put on there on the road that they’ll get somewhere safely,” said Landers.

Sutton also mentioned there’s a plexiglass door for the drivers that is closed off to the rest of the bus. So if that deer would have jumped a few seconds sooner, it could have very well been trapped with her.

We are so glad she’s okay and proud of her actions. And it goes to show – everyone is taken care of when they’re on a LATS bus, even the deer!