PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (CBS) — During deer mating season, animal-car collisions are more likely, especially for the Delaware Valley, an area that ranks amongst the highest in the nation for deer-related crashes.

“I was just shaken up, I never hit an animal in my life. It was terrible”

Delsa Judah of Magnolia says she was driving her Suzuki SX4 on I-295 near Woodstown at about 12:15 a.m. Monday morning when she saw a deer sitting right in her path

“The way he looked at me, he was like ‘lady I’m here and I can’t move’ and I just ran over him.”

Her car was taken to Collision Max in Pennsauken where technicians will estimate the damage done to the undercarriage of her car from front to back.

“My bumper was off and my car started smoking really bad”

Her car isn’t the only one at collision at Collision Max. The driver of a Mitsubishi Eclipse swerved to avoid a deer and hit a guardrail instead.

“We’re just about hitting the season and starting to see increases”, says Rich Tornetta of Collision Max.

In South Jersey, deer mating season is typically the last three weeks of November according to the States Department of Environmental Protection. Officials are now warning drivers to be alert because the white tail deer can become inpredictable and are prone to dart in and out of traffic, especially at dawn and dusk.

Contact with your car can cost thousands.

“If it’s head on (collision) with a deer, you can get your entire front end pushed back or the car can be completely totaled,” says Tornetta.

“It’s the weirdest thing”, says Judah, “I just saw a deer on the news in a store and here I am running over a deer.”

She’s talking about a recent visit by a deer to a Chester county sprint store. The deer did some damage inside before running out of the store. (see related story)

Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3

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