The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

May 17, 2013

The story behind Johnstown’s viral video

JOHNSTOWN — The way John Porter tells it, some of his co-workers now call him “John Deer.”

That’s because Porter was behind the wheel of a CamTran bus driving along Goucher Street on Tuesday night when a white-tailed deer crashed through his windshield. Footage of the incident has gone viral, with 1.5 million views on The Tribune-Democrat's YouTube video of it.

“They tease me about picking up a passenger at the wrong stop; not paying the fare; why didn’t I keep the deer,” Porter, 54, said. “It’s all in fun.”

Kidding aside, CamTran officials say Porter averted what could have been a tragedy.

The bus was carrying just one passenger.

“That route is very heavily traveled by people in wheelchairs because of the Hiram G. Andrews Center,” said Rose Lucey-Noll, CamTran executive director.

The center provides education and training for people with disabilities.

“We carry about 1,000 people a month from Hiram G. Andrews,” Lucey-Noll said. “There are times when the buses are full.”

Porter said he wasn’t sure what he saw charging across the road moments before the deer hit his window.

“I’m coming down Goucher Street about a quarter after 6,” he said. “All I saw was a blur and the window smashed. The deer was running around trying to get out a window.

“I had my window open and I was worried about it trying to jump over me,” Porter said. “You just stay calm.”

The doors on the newer CamTran buses like the one Porter was driving will not open until the vehicle comes to a complete stop, he said. When the front door opened, the deer took off toward the Berkley Hills Golf Course.

Neither driver nor passenger was injured. The deer appeared no worse for wear.

“I had glass in my hair,” Porter said. “I finally got home and there was a small sliver in my ear. My wife pulled it out.”

Emails from around the globe have flooded CamTran. Many have complimented the driver, Lucey-Noll said.

CamTran drivers are required to have six to eight weeks of training before they can get behind the wheel, she said.

“He kept his wits about him,” she said of Porter. “It’s good news that was spread across the world.”

 Upper Yoder Township police Chief Walter Howell said it was unusual to see deer this time of year. Normally they’re spotted in the autumn during mating season.

“You see them when they’re in a rut,” Howell said. “This was odd. We’re talking May.”

Porter said he’s had few encounters with wildlife.

“In Alaska, I was chased off the golf course by a moose,” he said. “I got in the golf cart and took off.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • WWI mon28 100th anniversary of World War I

    No American veterans are still alive to provide firsthand accounts of the brutality and heroism displayed during World War I.

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • coal1 Exporting pollution: U.S. energy producers sending dirty coal abroad

    As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rising costs for pensions keep schools struggling

    Gov. Tom Corbett is ratcheting up pressure on the Legislature to reform the state’s pension system by focusing on how often school districts use tax increases to offset costs.

    July 27, 2014

  • camp cadet Recruits put through paces at Camp Cadet

    A row of young teens stood tall and attentive Sunday as their instructor paced past, barking out marching orders.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Luksik, Peg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray. Johnstown resident Peg Luksik, who twice ran for governor as the Constitutional Party nominee, knows what it's like.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm sparks reports of lightning strikes

    A fast-moving rainstorm generated reports of lightning strikes throughout parts of southern Cambria County early Sunday evening.

    July 27, 2014

  • pow28 Mount Olive church members reach out to those in need

    The members of Mount Olive United Methodist Church mark their faith by using a tape measure.
    The mission team of the Sidman area church uses tools such as tape measures to complete construction and repair projects to improve life for people in need and to help nonprofit organizations.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kernville Reunion will recall days gone by

    The 37th annual Kernville Reunion will start at noon Aug. 9 at Lorain Borough Park, 503 Green Valley St., and organizers are hopeful it’ll attract current and former area residents, especially people who attended Joseph Johns Junior High School.

    July 27, 2014

  • Scaife remembered for strong convictions

    At a weekend memorial service, publisher Richard Mellon Scaife was remembered by the archbishop of Washington as someone who had the courage to stand “for things that mattered.”

    July 27, 2014

  • kids new VIDEO | ‘Best friends killing friends’: Kids share concerns about drugs, bullying, shootings

    Sara Norman wasn’t shocked to learn that a 15-year-old stands accused of shooting a Johnstown police academy recruit July 13 in Oakhurst.
    And she wouldn’t be surprised that a 16-year-old took three bullets Thursday in another Oakhurst neighborhood shooting.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads