A motorist’s decision to stop on a highway in the Florida Panhandle to allow a turtle to cross the road led to a chain-reaction crash involving multiple vehicles, including a semi-truck, on Tuesday morning, May 16, Walton County officials said.
This dashcam footage, obtained from a truck involved in the crash, shows several vehicles stopped on southbound lanes of US-331 near Defuniak Springs. The truck driver fails to brake in time and collides with at least two vehicles from behind, the video shows.
The footage was released by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) along with a message urging motorists to avoid causing “a road obstruction because of a reptilian obstruction.”
“We all can do better to protect the wildlife and natural inhabitants of our great state,” the WCSO wrote. “Residents and visitors alike should marvel at the many species that call Florida home. Just preferably not in the middle of the road.
“While no ill intentions were meant, trying to avoid or assist an animal who has made its way onto a busy road can cause you or other drivers life-threatening injuries,” said the sheriff’s office.
No one was seriously injured in the crash, the WCSO said. The turtle also 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,” they added.