Owl survives crash, gets stuck in grill of SUV

Bird slips through vehicle's grill on Florida's Turnpike

Published On: Feb 12 2013 07:04:59 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 12 2013 07:24:11 AM EST
Owl in truck
YEEHAW JUNCTION, Fla. -

An owl had a close call after getting hit by an SUV on the Florida Turnpike.

Sonji Coney Williams was headed south on the Florida Turnpike near Yeehaw Junction on Thursday when she struck a bird with her vehicle.

"I was driving about 60 miles an hour, (and the owl) never moved," said Williams. "I said, 'Oh, my God, I hit a bird!'"

Williams assumed the bird became roadkill and continued driving south to Plantation to visit her son. 

On Friday afternoon, she finally realized what really happened.

"There was a family that pulled in front of my parking space and flagged me down," Williams said.  "They said, 'Don't move, don't move, you have something in the grill of your truck.'"

It turns out a Great Horned Owl survived the crash and slipped through the vehicle's grill.

Williams called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and a wildlife officer opened the hood and freed the bird.

Officers said the owl appeared to be in good shape and didn't suffer any major injuries.