Family outing takes fowl turn as turkey slams into SUV windshield

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SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A New Jersey family might have a different main dish on the menu this Thanksgiving after a wild turkey smashed through the windshield of their SUV on Tuesday morning in northwest Indiana.

The John Tarabocchia family of Emerson, New Jersey, was returning to O’Hare Airport in a rental vehicle after a visit to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, according to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department.

The family was celebrating the acceptance of daughter Riana to the university, but all thoughts of celebrating came to an abrupt halt about 9:30 a.m.

The SUV was westbound on U.S. 20, just north of LaPorte, Indiana, and nearing Wilhelm Road when several wild turkeys flew past, according to police.

And one of them, a large male, slammed directly into the windshield. The glass shattered, but fortunately for the family, the 30-pound bird was impaled in the center of the windshield and did not completely enter the vehicle.

The bird was killed on impact, and family members suffered only minor cuts from the glass, police said.

The sheriff’s department warned that wild turkeys mate in the spring, so the birds are on the move and “can be as hazardous as deer.”

As for the dead bird, police said a passing motorists asked to keep it, and the family was happy to oblige.