The crash happened at 11:22 a.m. Monday in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 76 just before the Belmont Avenue exit in Lower Merion Township, Pa.
Police said the deer entered the highway on the westbound side and jumped over the center concrete barrier.
The SUV, travelling eastbound, hit the deer while it was in mid-air.
The deer went into the SUV through the windshield, and the vehicle spun around and came to rest facing the wrong way.
The animal was still inside the SUV so the driver, identified as 31-year-old Winston Bryant of Philadelphia, got out and removed it, police said.
Bryant was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with minor injuries.
The passenger, 30-year-old Alisha Tucker of Pottstown, was taken to HUP in critical condition. Her specific injuries were not immediately known.
Both Bryant and Tucker were wearing seatbelts, according to police.
Chopper 6 HD was over the tow lot where the SUV, a Kia Sportage, was taken. The front and rear windshields were heavily damaged and there was a large dent on the roof.
PennDOT warns there is a sharp increase in the number of collisions between deer and vehicles at this time of year.
Last year, there were nearly 3,000 crashes statewide involving deer, resulting in more than 600 injuries and five fatalities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are an estimated 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year, resulting in roughly 150 fatalities and 10,000 injuries. An insurance industry study found Pennsylvania tops the list of accidents involving deer.
To stay safe, PennDOT recommends:
- Drive defensively and stay alert, especially when driving between dusk and dawn.
- Allow extra following distance between vehicles, particularly where deer crossing signs are posted.
- Because deer often travel in small herds, motorists should exercise caution when one deer crosses a roadway as it will likely be followed by others.