SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A local woman and her brother say they’re thankful to be okay after a turtle smashed into their windshield.
Latonya Lark and Kevin Grant were out running errands around noon on May 12. While riding northbound on Harry S. Truman Parkway near Montgomery Cross Road, Lark noticed something strange coming at them.
“I thought it was a brick, and I told [my brother], ‘my God, there’s a brick!’” said Lark, who was driving. She says she started to slow down her vehicle.
Before Grant had time to process what was happening from the passenger seat, they both heard what they described as a loud boom, and Grant was covered in shattered glass.
A turtle burst through the windshield on the passenger side, right before Grant’s eyes.
“When the glass broke, the first thing that came to my mind was just to shield myself, so it was just like, you know, turn and just cover,” the licensed cosmetologist told WSAV News 3. He says he was left with small cuts after the incident.
Lark says the turtle had somehow smashed its way through her windshield after another car possibly struck it.
She and her brother believe the impact from a vehicle in front of them sent the turtle flying right back into their faces.
Grant did his best to calm his sister down and urge her to pull over and call for help.
The Chatham County Police Department responded. A spokesperson tells WSAV News 3 that how or why the turtle wound up airborne is undetermined.
The police report shows Lark’s windshield was left with too much damage to be able to drive safely, and the vehicle had to be towed.
“Even the police officer said if that glass wasn’t as thick as it was and I didn’t slow down the way I did when I saw the object coming, it would’ve been disastrous,” Lark said.
The responding officers were able to remove the turtle safely. Lark says the turtle lost one of his legs in the freak accident.
It initially survived, and officers wrapped the reptile in a blanket. It was later taken to Savannah Animal Care for medical treatment.
“The turtle got cited, but of course he didn’t have insurance and he couldn’t get a lawyer, so I wound end up having to pay a deductible and everything else,” Lark said.
Her windshield has since been replaced. Reflecting back on what happened, the siblings say it shows that the unexpected can happen — without a moment’s notice.
“If people are not paying attention to the road…you know, whoever hit that turtle, they had to have been flying,” Lark said.
She says after calling to check on the turtle’s health status on May 26, she learned that the turtle unfortunately did not make it after losing too much blood.