These critters may not have wings but they can fly. When they do, the consequences are uncertain for everyone involved, even the creature. Imagine driving along, maybe listening to the radio and enjoying the scenery pass by, until suddenly a piece of that scenery launches like a missile on a trajectory through your windshield and continues on into the back seat. It can ruin your day. This time, everyone came out just fine, including the turtle.
Airborne creature strikes Florida
Florida’s St. Lucie County Fire District had some interesting photos of the creature and it’s handiwork to share on their Facebook page. They show “the aftermath” of what happens to a car when “an airborne turtle” flies through the air and crashes “through the windshield.” The rocketing reptile blasted off around 5 o’clock in the evening on July 30.
That’s when the motorist called in to report what happened. The caller relates that “a semi-truck was driving southbound on the highway when it drove past a turtle on the side of the road and nicked it.” That’s all it took. These things happen a lot more frequently than people imagine.
The semi’s tire barley grazed the shell of the turtle but there was more than enough force to launch the creature into the air. According to the impacted driver, who had been following behind the truck, “it flew across the highway slamming into his windshield.”
The photos clearly show where the “turtle smashed right through the middle of the windshield and ended up landing in the backseat of the car.” Game and Fish is calling it a “miracle” that the “turtle was unharmed and didn’t have a scratch on it.” They note it is a “full-grown turtle with about a 10-inch shell.” Nobody in the car was harmed and the owner is looking forward to a case of steaks to go with his windshield repair.
Authorities removed the creature and gave it a medical exam before they “took it to a safe place where it could be released.” Back in May of 2020, in Savannah Georgia, Latonya Lark and her brother Kevin Grant were cruising along when Latonya “spotted a UFO coming in for a landing in front of her totally freaked out brother.” That time, the turtle “embedded itself halfway through her shattered windshield.”
At first she thought it was a brick. It certainly acted like one, except for the flying part that is. “I told my brother, ‘Oh my God there’s a brick flying across the highway.’ No sooner than I said that, it impacted my vehicle. It scared me so bad, it sounded like a bomb went off and glass went all over my brother.” He was treated for minor cuts from all the flying glass.”
Surviving the encounter
Motorists are trained from the beginning to expect the unexpected but anyone who drives where turtles can be found should be especially alert. The encounters can often be fatal and not just to the turtle.
Latonya and Kevin were thankful that the creature didn’t make it through the glass of their windshield because it could have been fatal to one or both humans but, alas, the turtle didn’t survive that encounter. “the really sad part is that the turtle died. That was really upsetting,” Ms. Lark regrets.
When a similar incident happened to a 71-year-old woman in Florida, just this past April, she was struck in the head. The good news is that she wasn’t driving at the time. Florida turtles seem to be a resilient variety because that creature walked away.
The call that came in to Port Orange Police Department described, something “just came through the windshield and hit my mom in the head!” At first, They thought it was “a chunk of concrete.” All they knew was that “there’s so much blood.”
The 911 operator calmed down the daughter and talked her through some basic first aid to control the bleeding until police arrived on the scene. The 911 operator was still on the line as the audio captured the “incredulous sounding caller” realizing “There’s a turtle in there!” What? “A turtle?” the dispatcher confirmed. “A turtle! An actual turtle,” the woman answered.
The “older woman was dazed and bleeding all over the place but never lost consciousness.” Paramedics examined the creature to determine “the turtle was alive and apparently free of serious injuries, suffering only scratch marks to its shell.” they “released the turtle into the nearby woods.”