'I got lucky': N.B. man shares survival story after horrific moose collision
A man who defied the odds is sharing his survival story after the vehicle he was travelling in struck a large bull moose on a New Brunswick highway last year.
The collision happened on Nov. 10, 2015 on the highway between Woodstock and Grand Falls. Kevin Poley says the 950-pound animal went through the windshield of the vehicle.
“I can’t remember, but apparently it hit me in the face,” says Poley. “The guy that was driving got one of the antlers in the head. He had a few stitches and a concussion.”
Poley was taken to hospital in Grand Falls but his condition worsened and he was eventually airlifted to hospital in Moncton, where he remained in an induced coma for 12 days.
“I broke the first vertebrae in my neck and I had major head trauma,” says the Edmundston resident. “My brain swelled and they had to drill a hole in my head so the pressure would eventually come out.”
Doctors told his mother to prepare for the worst.
“They even offered her to fill out some organ donation stuff because they weren’t sure if I was going to survive,” he says.
Poley lost 35 pounds and had to learn to walk again, but he survived the ordeal. He has no memory from the time he left work the night of his accident until he woke up two weeks later. He left hospital on Dec. 19.
A scar on his throat from his feeding tube is the only physical reminder of the accident, which he says changed his life.
“It really helped me settle down and mature up a little bit. I got lucky once. I might not get lucky twice.”
In addition to being a miraculous story of survival, Poley’s accident also illustrates the dangers of moose on the highway.
There are many signs along New Brunswick highways, warning motorists to slow down, especially at night. A moose’s coat is quite dark and, unlike deer, their eyes don’t reflect a car’s headlight, so they are especially dangerous.
As a result, 400 motorists are involved in collisions with moose every year in New Brunswick alone.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis