Deer herd’s leap of death leaves witnesses horrified

“I’ve never seen anything like this. No words, no words.”

A disoriented herd of deer crossing a bridge over Highway 30 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, panicked in traffic and made a deadly decision, horrifying witnesses who watched the mishap unfold in front of them.

Catherine Veerhusen and her husband were driving over the bridge when they spotted the small deer herd and hoped it stayed away from traffic and didn't jump over the bridge's barrier, according to the Des Moines Register.

But when the lone buck sprinted across the road and jumped over the barrier, three does promptly followed suit. All died from the 20- to 30-foot drop.

"I've never seen anything like this," Veerhusen told the Register. "No words, no words."

She and her husband stayed for about 15 minutes before moving on.

"I stood there--I was just in shock," she told the Register. "I've never seen them spooked like that."

Ron Lane, a conservation officer for the Department of Natural Resources, told the Register the herd was probably not familiar with the area and panicked.

"The bridge there is brand new," Lane said. "I'm guessing the deer aren't used to that, with all of the construction going on."

The bridge opened in October.

“It sounds like with they were just trying to run across and didn’t know where to go,” Lane said.

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