An Airborne Turtle Crashed Through Car Windshield in Florida

We would have been shell shocked if that happened to us.

Published Aug 3, 2021

Updated Aug 8, 2021
 (St. Lucie County Fire District/Facebook)
Image Via St. Lucie County Fire District/Facebook

It could have been a turtle disaster in late July 2021 when a Florida fire department reported an accident involving a turtle and a car windshield.

The St. Lucie Fire Department reported that a semi-truck hit a turtle at a turnpike, causing it to fly into the windshield of a nearby car.

The department added that neither the driver, nor the turtle was injured. They were able to release the animal into the wild. Just in case you were wondering, it didn’t happen in slow motion.

This isn’t the first turtle-related accident in Florida. In April 2021, another turtle crashed through the windshield of a car, hitting a woman in the head. The turtle got away with a few scratches and the woman ended up with a cut on her eye.

After one of our readers claimed that the turtle was actually a gopher tortoise, we reached out to a number of experts, including Kenneth Dodd, a herpetologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Katherine Richardson of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Bob Walker of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center, and Daniel Evans of the Sea Turtle Conservancy. They all confirmed that the turtle was not a gopher tortoise. It appeared to be a type of freshwater turtle, of the genus Pseudemys. Many said it was a Florida Cooter (Pseudemys floridana) species, with Dodd arguing that it was likely a female because of its large size.


August 9, 2021: Updated with research on the species of the turtle.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.