INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Ralph
Glaister was shell-shocked when a flying turtle crashed
through his windshield Wednesday afternoon on Interstate
"There was a loud crash. When I looked up, there
was glass all over me and a turtle sitting beside me in
my van," the 45-year-old Deerfield Beach resident
said. "It seemed like it happened in slow
Luckily, both Glaister and the cooter box turtle were
not seriously injured. The turtle suffered minor cuts to
its tail and back legs, but the shell was not damaged.
Glaister walked away without a scratch.
Glaister was more worried about getting immediate
help for the 1-foot-long turtle than fixing his
windshield after the crash.
"It is amazing (the turtle) wasn't
injured," he said. "He came flying through the
windshield at 70 miles per hour. Not many things can
live going through a windshield like that."
He was driving to visit his girlfriend, Vero Beach
resident Tracy MacLean, about 5 p.m. when the incident
Glaister was heading north on I-95 just south of
Indrio Road in St. Lucie County when he noticed the
turtle attempting to cross the interstate.
"I saw the turtle crossing the road when it was
slightly clipped by the truck in front of me, which sent
it flying into the air and through my windshield,"
"You couldn't have planned it better. He hit the
glass on the passenger side, busted that out and landed
next to me."
Instead of stopping and risking more time waiting for
help, Glaister took the stowaway to MacLean's house and
contacted the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.
An Indian River County Animal Control officer and
sheriff's deputy checked the turtle for injuries.
"I have heard about a lot of four-legged animals
going through windshields, but never, ever, a
turtle," said Detective Joe Flescher, sheriff's
Glaister plans on releasing the turtle into a pond
near MacLean's house, he said.
"I watched it happen and I am still amazed and
surprised," he said. "How am I going to
explain this story?"