A New Jersey family travelling through northern Indiana got a shock when a 13.6kg turkey crashed through their vehicle's windscreen.
LaPorte County Sheriff's Office Captain Michael Kellems says the flying bird collided with the family's rented SUV. The impact killed the turkey, which was left lodged in the shattered windscreen as driver John Tarabocchia of Emerson, New Jersey, pulled over along US Route 20.
"Out of nowhere this turkey starts flying. I see the wings open up, coming right at me," said Tarabocchia.
"I thought he'd go over the roof of the car instead he went right over the windshield."
Pictures of the bird splattered on the windscreen show that it shattered glass and ended up with its head down into the front seat, feathers everywhere, according to the Daily Mail.
Although the bird didn't survive, the family was mostly uninjured. Inside the vehicle were Tarabocchia, his wife, Corina, teenage son Ian, and 78-year-old mother-in-law. She suffered minor cuts from shattering glass.
Tarabocchia said his first thought was to get the car safely to the side of the road.
"I just knew I was on the highway and a lot of tractor-trailer [trucks] on the road, just wanted to get them off to the side," he said.
The next thought of everyone in the car was to get out, as apparently the turkey was flailing around, and the occupants were scared.
The La Porte County sheriff said collisions between fowl and vehicle are rare, but they happen more during mating season.
"We've had incidents of turkeys striking vehicles in the past but I don't think anything nearly as this dramatic," Captain Mike Kellems said.
Tarabocchia tells The Indianapolis Star his family was headed to a Chicago airport to return home after visiting his daughter at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend. The family was about 40 kilometres west of South Bend, Indiana.
The family was able to rent a car to O'Hare airport and get back safely to New Jersey.
- AP, Daily Mail