A Florida turtle is hopefully continuing to swim comfortably after surviving a head on high-speed collision with not one, but two cars on Interstate 4 near Deltona on Monday, according the Daytona Beach News-Journal. The second car was driven by 38-year-old Nicole Bjanes, who reported that the turtle was first hit by another car, then propelled up into the air and through the windshield of her Volkswagen Jetta as she drove along at a speed of more than 70 m.p.h. The turtle smashed a hole in the window, bounced off the passenger seat, and landed upside down on her dashboard, according to ABC News. Though Bjanes was shaken up and received a few minor cuts on her forehead from the crash, she was otherwise unharmed, as was the turtle, save a cut on its tail. Bjanes briefly considered adopting the blessed creature, but a firefighter and a highway patrol officer ultimately returned the turtle to a nearby pond, where it simply swam away, seemingly unscathed. She also posted pictures of her car and her half-shelled sudden passenger on Facebook:
Twenty-two-year highway patrol veteran Sgt. Kim Montes said she had never seen or heard of a stranger car vs. animal encounter, commenting that, “Turtles get run over, get squished. But I’ve never had one propelled through a windshield before.”
The incident also led to this priceless exchange between a Florida man reporting the accident and a 911 dispatcher, as passed along by the News-Journal:
“The turtle flew through her windshield,” the dispatcher repeats sounding somewhat incredulous.
“The turtle flew through her windshield. She’s got a cut on her forehead. Turtle’s still inside,” the caller said.
A few moments later the dispatcher asked: “How big was the turtle?”
“Man, it’s a big ass turtle,” the man said.
He said the woman might have a concussion but was conscious and the turtle may have hit her in the forehead.
“She’s shook-en up pretty bad,” he said.
He said the turtle was 12 or 14 inches around.
“People catch that to make turtle soup. I don’t know if she’s going to keep it for that,” the man said.
The presumably uninsured turtle was a red-eared slider, which is a pet variety, rather than a Florida native species. “They have a very hard shell,” added turtle expert Melissa Ranly to the News Journal, and clearly the turtle was lucky enough to crash into the windshield shell first.