N.J. family’s roadtrip halted when 30-pound turkey flies into windshield

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The Taraboczhia family from Emerson, N.J., got a big surprise while driving home from Indiana.

A 30-pound surprise.

The family had left the University of Notre Dame where their daughter, Riana, had just been accepted and were headed west on US 20 in La Porte County, Ind., toward Chicago on Tuesday when a wild turkey flew into the path of their GMC rental SUV and smashed through the windshield.

“And out of nowhere this turkey begins flying. I see the wings open up, coming proper at me,” John Tarabocchia told the Indianapolis Star.

“At that point I was just trying to get the car pulled over,” he told ABC7Chicago.  Taraboczhia, his wife Corina, teenage son Ian and his 78-year-old mother-in-law sustained minor cuts from the glass. Feathers were everywhere and the rear view mirror was destroyed.

Worse, they were face-to-face with a 30-pound turkey in agonizing death throes.

“Everyone wanted to get out of the car because they were afraid of the turkey, it was still alive in the window,” Taraboczhia told the station.

The bird eventually died.

“I’ve been a policeman for 31 years and I’ve never seen something like that,” Capt. Michael Kellems, of the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office, told the Star

“Mating season for wild turkeys means that they are often on the move and can be as hazardous as deer,” he said.

Kellems told the paper the driver of a passing vehicle stopped and asked to take the bird home with him, which he did.

As for his family, Tarabocchia said they’ll skip turkey for Thanksgiving this year, the Star reported.

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