Share your experiences driving the McKenzie Highway

While driving home on the night of November 16th a large buck heading for the McKenzie River ran across the Hwy and right into the side of my truck…It seemed like he came out of nowhere.  I barely saw the rack on his head before he slammed into my truck.  I turned the wheel to the right just enough to try to avoid a collision. That is something you should NEVER do if the river is on your right side because you are liable to drive over the edge of the highway and down into the river. Don’t ever do that !!!., but God must have been looking over my shoulder. A miracle happened !… I didn’t wind up dead and the buck only hit the side outside mirror on the driver’s side smashing it into the door and breaking it. I will need a new mirror, but there was no other damage to my truck… Just be careful out there. Its rutting season and you might not be as lucky as I was.

Updated: November 22, 2018 — 3:18 am


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  1. You were truly lucky/blessed nothing worse happened. The road is deffnently more dangerous at night. Just last week a friend of mine had almost the same thing happen with a couple minor changes. A herd of elk and daytime. The road definitely does have its obstacles.

  2. I just moved to Vida a few months ago and I have already had a few close run-ins on 126. One time some deer were crossing the highway at night. Another time there was a speeding driver coming around a blind curve just east of Ike’s Pizza, and there have been several times when weaving drivers appeared to be texting.

    I was leaving Ike’s pizza pulling one night when a driver coming from the east came barreling around that blind curve. This yahoo came around the curve very fast and he didn’t want to slow down for the folks who were just leaving the restaurant. He decided to pass us in a very unsafe manner and to top it off he decided to give my wife and I the middle finger as he drove by. We happened to have our grand-daughter with us

    The lesson I learned from this is that you can’t fix stupid so be careful out there. We are powerless over what other drivers do who don’t care about anybody other than themselves. There could be better signage at that blind curve in the road just east of Ike’s Pizza.

    The Lesson I learned from my run in with the deer is to have my car in good shape, the windshield clean, the tires properly inflated, both headlights functioning, stay alert at all times, drive according to the conditions, and SLOW THE HECK DOWN especially at night.

    As for texting drivers:

    It is just like being on the road with drunk drivers. Until the government starts really cracking down on distracted driving we will continue to be at a much greater risk of injury each and every time we get behind the wheel.

  3. Deer and other local fauna are a hazard on any rural road. When we are on the road we should always remember that we are in their home! Along with local wild life there are other hazards that will always be present on any rural road especially one that runs along rivers and over mountain passes. We are entering the rainy season and that means rocks, branches, and trees will be all over the highway. It’s a common problem not unique to Hwy 126. and driving distracted can kill you so pay close attention to the road ahead of you. Try to think a little ahead of where you are. Warning signs placed along the highway by ODOT are there for a reason so pay attention to them and be safe. Drive defensively. Those five minutes you save by driving faster than the speed limit or the conditions of the road is not worth losing your life over.

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