Lheidli T’enneh Councillor Joshua Seymour was driving into Prince George with his window slightly down when he was hit in the face by a grouse.
He was on his way into town from the Lheidli T’enneh community driving about 50 km/hr with his window down about four inches when the bird flew into the vehicle and hit him in the neck.
“From what I understand driving at that speed with that much wind and the size of the bird it was perfect timing,” said Seymour.
He said the bird hit him so hard there was ringing in his ears and he immediately stopped his truck and put it into park to figure out what happened.
“Originally I thought someone threw a snowball or something but it a rural road, there’s nobody on the road, and I didn’t see anyone and I was confused.”
He said the bird, which was stuck between his neck and the head rest then started flapping, which scared him so he took off his seatbelt and jumped out of the truck. That’s when the bird flew into the back seat of the vehicle.
“I thought did someone throw a grouse at me?” laughed Seymour, adding he was still dazed. “It didn’t make sense as to what happened, and for some reason that was the first conclusion, and then I realized the grouse flew in and hit me. Being a millennial, I had to pull out my phone and get proof because no one was going to believe the story.”
One of Seymour’s relatives, Trent, happened to be driving home at the same time and he stopped to see what happened.
“I told him what had happened, and said, ‘I got hit by grouse’ and he said, ‘did it damage your truck?’ and I said, ‘No, it hit me in the face!’.”
Semyour and Trent then opened the truck’s back door and after a few minutes the grouse safely jumped out of the truck and flew away.
“The first thing I did was posted the video because I wanted to make sure that everyone knew I wasn’t making stories up,” said Seymour, adding he was surprised about how much attention his video has received.
“I said I need a plaque that says Canada’s first elected official to be hit by a grouse when driving because I am 100 per cent sure no other elected official has been hit by a bird while they are driving down the road.”
He said everyone he’s spoken to has been very concerned about the well-being of the grouse.
“Everybody asked is the bird okay and no one asked if I was okay that was always the second-hand question. Is the grouse okay? Yeah well, I’m okay too. Thanks mom.”
Seymour noted that while the grouse is okay, he’s still cleaning feathers out of his truck.