WALTON COUNTY, Fla. – A motorist trying to move a turtle from the middle of a Florida highway on Tuesday started a chain-reaction wreck, authorities said.
According to a Facebook post by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, the 34-year-old driver was already out of his pickup, attempting to move the turtle from the middle of U.S. 331 near DeFuniank Springs in the Florida Panhandle.
Video posted by the sheriff’s office showed five other drivers hitting their brakes at about 7 a.m. CDT. An 18-wheeler can be seen caroming off other cars.
Three of the crashed vehicles included the pickup truck that stopped to help the animal, the sheriff’s office said.
“We all can do better to protect the wildlife and natural inhabitants of our great state. Residents and visitors alike should marvel at the many species that call Florida home,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. “Just preferably not in the middle of the road.
“We don’t advise causing a road obstruction because of a reptilian obstruction.”
The sheriff’s office said that trying to avoid or help an animal that has ventured onto a highway can cause “life-threatening injuries.”
In this instance, there were no serious injuries from the crash, the sheriff’s office said. That includes the turtle.
“The turtle survived and is now living happily ever after in a pond where he will (hopefully) spend the rest of his days avoiding pavement of any kind,” the sheriff’s office wrote.
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