SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Nick Gerken's trip down I-75 was going smoothly on Wednesday morning -- that is, until a turkey flew right into his passenger-side windshield.
"It was attempting to land I thought and then it just did one of these numbers. Whoop. Boom," Gerken said.
After 16 years on the road, not a lot shocks Nick anymore. But this made him stop.
"I went down to the next exit, made a loop came back and called the boss man," Gerken told FOX 13.
Vladimir Durshpek, the owner of D-Trans LLC, answered Gerken's call.
"He said he hit a bird," Durshpek recalled. Then he jokingly asked the next question: "Is the bird a passenger? Is the bird riding with you?"
"I said, 'That’s a good point. I don’t know,'" Gerken said. "I looked at the way that windshield was broken and caved into the cab I thought, 'There’s a good chance it’s here.'"
As soon as he pulled back into home base in Venice, he knew he had company.
"I looked back under the bunk and I saw the big old turkey feathers and two legs sticking back like it was stuck in a hole," Gerken said.
The turkey was amazingly still alive.
"Just as calm as a kitten, but when I gave that tail feather a yank it was like holding a chicken -- boy it just came out of there rooting around and I was out," he said.
They sent technician Yuriy Tabakove in to get the turkey. After being brought out of the truck, the bird took off into the woods.
Gerken's windshield was quickly repaired; 24 hours later, you'd never know what happened.
"I'm a little gun shy for awhile, [if] see a little black bird I’d be ducking," he laughed.