Wild turkey mixes it up with pickup in rural Princeton

Retired rural Princeton resident Mike Meyer had noticed the wild turkey on the side of Sherburne County Road 2 as he was driving his 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup west toward Princeton at about 7:15 a.m.on March 23.

But he didn’t think the turkey would fly across his path. 

But that’s just what the turkey did, colliding with the truck’s front windshield. The collision shattered the windshield and, as Meyer tells it, he had blood, guts and feathers all over him as he slowed his pickup to a halt in the traffic lane. Lucky there wasn’t much traffic at the time, he said.

Meyer was three miles from Princeton at the time and five miles from his house. He drove slowly back home to check out what had happened to his face Fortunately, other than a nick on his chin and pock marks on his face, he was all right, he said. He expressed gratefulness that glass did not damage either eye. Bits of glass were all around his eye sockets.

People who saw him right after the collision wondered if the blood was from him, he said.

The impact not only wrecked the windshield but it buckled the roof. The bill to fix it at Ray’s Auto Body was $3,754. Ray’s replaced the front windshield, roof skin, headliner and dash.

“It was amazing what we had to do for that truck just for a turkey,” said Ray’s Auto Body employee Lorraine Akemann.

Ray McGraw, owner of Ray’s Auto Body, said he has seen collision damage from a lot of wildlife before this in his 39 years in auto body work. Those cases including two collisions with turkeys, a bear, plenty of deer, horses, cows, pheasants, one coyote, dogs, and raccoons.

As for Meyer and his turkey collision, he said: “It’s something I don’t want to go through again.”