Florida man stops truck in fast lane of busy highway to help turtle cross the road - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 05-17-2023, 05:43 PM   #1
Socratic Monologue
Florida man stops truck in fast lane of busy highway to help turtle cross the road

Fun game: using the video in the article, estimate the actual size of the turtle (hint: that's probably a standard 12' wide highway lane).


DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. -- A huge turtle and a man trying to be a hero caused a multi-car crash in Florida on Tuesday, according to Walton County Sheriff's Office.

It happened around 6:45 in the morning on Highway 331 in the Florida Panhandle.

Dash camera from an 18-wheeler caught the whole thing on video. The 18-wheeler is driving down the divided four-lane highway when it quickly comes up on several stopped and slowing cars.

The 18-wheeler cannot stop in time. It veers off the side of the road and then back onto the road where it collides with several of the cars.

Nobody was seriously injured in the crash, but there were multiple minor injuries and significant damage done to some of the cars.

In the dash cam video you can see a man standing in the road, just outside of his Silverado truck. He came to a complete stop in the fast lane -- something investigators strongly advise against doing.

He told deputies he stopped to save a massive snapping turtle trying to cross the road

"It was a mess. The northbound and southbound lanes are blocked. There's a flatbed truck, he's across the median in both lanes," Walton County Sheriff's Deputy Connor Gunn said.

At first, Deputy Gunn said he didn't buy the turtle tale. Then he saw the video.

"The semi driver ended up telling me he had dash cam video and I said 'hey can we watch it?". Sure enough, the turtle was there. That turtle looked like he had to be 4-5 feet in diameter and I was like 'Oh my God!" said Gunn.

The Walton County Sheriff's Office posted the video to its Facebook page with a warning not to stop in the middle of the road, even to protect Florida's wildlife.

Gunn said, "I love animals just as much as the next person but I would advise against stopping and putting yourself in that much danger over an animal. Unfortunately, you can get seriously hurt or killed trying to move that animal. The best thing to do is, unfortunately sometimes, just stay the course."

Deputy Gunn said somehow the turtle scurried along to the other side of the street and on to safety.
Old 05-23-2023, 05:36 PM   #2
I would go with 18" turtle, maybe 20" max. The white center lines are 6" inches wide. I actually saw a semi truck slam on his brakes to not hit a momma duck and her ducklings on a busy freeway. You just can't do that.
Old 05-23-2023, 06:00 PM   #3
I would definitely stop for a 4-5 foot turtle because hitting it would total my little old car.
Old 05-23-2023, 10:48 PM   #4
Socratic Monologue
I didn't think to gauge it using the center line width -- that's a great idea.

If I saw a 4-5 foot turtle in the road, I'd pull over and try to figure out what my Gatorade was spiked with, and by whom, and how long it would take me to sober up.

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