Two-time Olympic snowboardcross gold medalist Seth Wescott walked away uninjured after his 2002 Volkswagen Eurovan struck a moose on a Maine road Thursday.
The moose collided into the passenger side of Wescott’s van around 1 a.m., according to reports.
“It did roughly $3,000 to $4,000 worth of damage,” Lt. David Rackliffe of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department told the Bangor (Maine) Daily News. “It appears that the moose actually ran into him.”
Despite the damage, Wescott, 37, managed to drive the rest of the way home, according to the newspaper. The Maine native posted this on his Facebook page:
“Welcome home to Maine.. Now here is a moose in your windshield to mess up your night.. Home safe but it looks like the eurovan is gonna have an insurance vacation at the VW garage.. Damn it..”
Apparently car-moose collisions are becoming a bit of an epidemic in the area, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Rackliffe said Wescott’s accident continues a busy summer of car-moose crashes in Franklin County.
“We actually did a couple of press releases on that [situation earlier this summer],” Rackliffe said. “From mid-June through mid-July, between us and state police who cover northern Franklin County, we documented more than 22 car-moose crashes in that roughly 30-day period.”
While there are plenty of moose in western Maine, Rackliffe termed the rash of crashes “extraordinarily high.”
Wescott is one of three Olympians trying to become the first American man to win the same Winter Olympic event three straight times (Bonnie Blair is the only U.S. woman to do it). He won the first two Olympic snowboardcross competitions in Sochi and Vancouver. Fellow snowboarder Shaun White (halfpipe) and speedskater Shani Davis (1,000 meters) also won in 2006 and 2010.
Wescott, if he makes the Olympic team, would be the last of the three to make the attempt. Men’s snowboardcross in Sochi is on Feb. 17, five days after Davis’ 1,000 and six days after White’s halfpipe.
Wescott underwent “a complete reconstruction” of his left ACL in April, according to the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. He fell into a crevasse while filming with Warren Miller for L.L. Bean.
“It allows me to start at ground zero and build myself up,” Wescott told the newspaper in May. “I know it’s going to be tight, but I know it’s entirely possible (to make it back for Sochi).”
Wescott had reconstructive surgery on his right knee in 2001 and tore a pectoral muscle in 2012.
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