Turtles Keep Flying Through The Windshields Of Unsuspecting Motorists

Illustration for article titled Turtles Keep Flying Through The Windshields Of Unsuspecting Motorists
Photo: Chuck Paul

It’s noteworthy but not unprecedented that a 71-year-old woman was injured by an object crashing through the windshield of her car as she drove down a Florida interstate this week. What was remarkable about this incident was the projectile in question.

A turtle.


It’s a scene that reminds me of the grim reality of real-life Mario Kart. But even weirder is finding out that this happens more often than you’d think.

On Wednesday, a woman made a frantic call to 911 dispatchers, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. What happened? The caller and her mother were driving on I-95 near Port Orange, Florida, when something crashed through the windshield, putting a gash into her mother’s head.

As the daughter administered aid to her mom, the 911 dispatcher asked whether she knew what had hit her mom. She originally thought it was a piece of concrete. Then she figured out that it was actually a turtle.

Even the dispatcher didn’t see that coming, asking for reassurance a couple of times that a real, live turtle had indeed gone through the windshield. Another motorist, Chuck Paul, helped the mother and daughter until paramedics arrived.

According to UPI, the Port Orange Police Department said that the animal may have been kicked up by another vehicle. And despite the ordeal, everyone is OK and expected to make a full recovery, including the turtle! The mother was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach with a minor injury, and the daughter was uninjured.


Somehow, the turtle not only survived getting kicked up by a vehicle but also being flung through the windshield of another. Firefighters noted that the turtle, which had scratch marks on its shell, was set it free into nearby woods.

This is far from the first time that ballistic turtles have been reported. A strangely similar scene played out in 2016, in the same Florida county, when an airborne turtle also went through a car’s windshield. We covered another one in 2020; unfortunately the turtle in that crash didn’t fare so well. Search “turtle windshield” and you’ll get way more stories than you’d expect.


Apparently, life sometimes imitates art and cars kick turtles back into cars behind them like green shells in Mario Kart. Watch out for those blue shells!

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), VW Touareg, Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...


Every time we encounter a turtle on the road, we pull over and pick it up so it won’t get hurt.

Some are more argumentative about the lift than others.