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Bicyclist killed after collision with turtle

USA TODAY USA TODAY 1/12/2016 J.D. Gallop
Authorities say a 45-year-old man riding a motorized bicycle was killed when he ran over a box turtle © FILE Authorities say a 45-year-old man riding a motorized bicycle was killed when he ran over a box turtle

MELBOURNE, Fla. ---A Florida man died Wednesday after striking a turtle while riding his bike on a darkened street, according to officials. 

The deadly accident happened about 3:16 a.m. Wednesday in Indian Harbour Beach.  Brevard County Fire Rescue crews and investigators were called to the beachside town after the man’s body was found in the roadway near the motorized bike.

“He apparently suffered a head injury and was already deceased when we arrived,” said Don Walker, spokesman for Brevard County Fire Rescue. “It appeared he hit the turtle. He may have also been hit by another vehicle while lying injured." 

The turtle, described as a box turtle, survived the crash and managed to walk away with a minor injury.

It was not immediately known if the unidentified man was wearing a helmet. Brevard County sheriff's deputies are conducting a traffic crash investigation.

Crashes involving turtles are rare, according to Kim Montes, a spokeswoman with the Florida Highway Patrol.

"You see these kinds of accidents very rarely. It's either deer or bear when you hear of an animal involved in an accident," said Montes.

Montes recalled one crash involving a small turtle that was struck while attempting to cross a busy stretch of Interstate 4 in Volusia County.

"Somehow the driver clipped the turtle at such an angle that it tossed the turtle into the windshield of another car," Montes said. "The troopers got there and pulled it out of the windshield and put it in a nearby body of water," she said.

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