CHICAGO (CBS) — A New Jersey family said they’ll be “eating ham from now on” at Thanksgiving, after a 30-pound wild turkey impaled itself through the windshield of their SUV in northwest Indiana on Tuesday.
The Taraboczhia family from Emerson, New Jersey, was heading to O’Hare International Airport after visiting the University of Notre Dame.
They were driving on U.S. 20 in LaPorte County when a wild turkey went crashing through the windshield of their GMC.
“We’ve had incidents of turkeys striking vehicles in the past but I don’t think anything nearly as this dramatic,” LaPorte County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Kellems said.
The sheriff’s office shared two photos of the incident on Facebook.
“The exterior photo is the main body of this about 30-pound tom turkey that literally impaled itself through the center of the windshield on the 2017 GMC sport utility vehicle. The interior of this vehicle was just littered with broken glass shards,” Kellems said.
The bird was killed on impact, and went almost completely through the windshield, even causing damage to the roof, leaving feathers all over the center console and the passenger’s seat.
Three of the four people in the SUV suffered minor cuts.
“Very, very fortunate. They refused medical treatment. In fact, they were very concerned about catching their flight,” Kellems said. “I have to tell you, they had pretty good humor about it, and when I talked to Mr. Taraboczhia, I asked him ‘What are your plans for Thanksgiving?’ and he said their family is going to be eating ham from now on.”
A Chicago man stopped and asked if he could have the turkey, and they gave him a permit on the spot.
“I’m sure he’s going to enjoy a meal,” Kellems said.
Kellems said the family is lucky they were able to ease the SUV to the side of the road without crashing.
In the Facebook post about the incident, police said turkeys often are on the move during mating season, and can be as dangerous to drivers as deer.
There seems to have been a rash of similar accidents of late. On Monday, a wild turkey crashed through a library window in Pennsylvania. Last week, a 19-pound Tom smashed into the cab of an 18-wheeler in New Hampshire.