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Turkey Lands Harley-Riding Woman in the Hospital

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May 26, 2010

Turkey Lands Harley-Riding Woman in the Hospital

By Chad Love

From the story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

When Lori Hansen leaves her digs in rural Arcadia, she rumbles her Harley-Davison onto Armadillo Trail, hits Opossum Road, then swings onto Gator Trail. So there's really no need to lecture her on the perils of varmints and critters when riding a motorcycle. "I was coming home one night," said the 42-year-old teacher from her hospital bed in St. Petersburg, "when I had this hog come right at me. It charged me over there, at Horse Creek Road."

But that's not what landed her in Bayfront Medical Center on Saturday afternoon. What flung her like a rag doll at 55 to 60 mph into a webbing of barbed wire as she hurtled west on State Road 72 last weekend was a wild turkey. "I saw it out of the corner of my eye, for just a millisecond," said Hansen, who never wears a helmet. "I ducked left to avoid it but it hit me in my head, and I lost consciousness." The bird, whose 20-pound carcass was recovered by a nearby resident and stuffed into a freezer, had bolted from pastureland east of Myakka River State Park shortly before noon. Hansen, who suffered no broken bones or internal injuries, was helicoptered in serious condition to Bayshore Medical, where she was patched up with staples and stitches.

The most serious wounds are from lacerations to her arm. She expects to be released at any day now. Collisions with animals are not unheard of by experienced motorcyclists, but a wily turkey known for its caginess? "Well, I've been hit by a bird before as I was going over Ringling Bridge," said Matt Glenn, parts manager for Granny's Motorsports in Manatee County. "But it was a seagull, and I was wearing a helmet. I've never heard of anybody hitting a turkey before." Jimmy Procopio, a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor from Sarasota, just gasped at the tale. "Oh my god! Are you kidding me?" he said. "Hit by a turkey? In the head? Without a helmet?"

OK, all you cycle riders: what's the worst or scariest animal encounter you've had? Can you top this one?

Comments (11)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Cgull wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I had a dove try the same thing with me, me-1 dove-0. Luckly thats the only animal that I've encontered while bike riding. She's very lucky to survive the collision.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

wow i hope that she all better and it made her think about a helmet!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I have been expecting that to happen here. We have scenic byway paved winding roads around me that attract 100s of motorcyclists every weekend from the city across the river in Nebraska, since Iowa does not have a helmet law. Very little law enforcement way out here so the guys that ride the crotch rockets scream around 100+ mph. Every year 2 or 3 people are killed by deer, but we have so many turkeys flying back and forth across the hyway that its a matter of time before they pick off a few bikers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from logan.vandermay wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Last year I had a grouse hit me in the chest while riding my fourwheeler down the road and it was dead in its tracks when I came back by an hour later. Surprisingly it didnt hurt when it hit me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I can't imagine a turkey wopping your noggin at that speed. She is luck her neck was not snapped even if she had been wearing a helmet.

I had a dead and falling mallard duck wack me in the forehead once and it was like getting hit with a bowling ball!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Good to hear that she's recovering well from her injuries. Except for a small bird, I've never actually hit an animal on a bike. Had several near misses though--dog, fox, a couple of rabbits, a vulture, and a deer that could have been a widowmaker--all reminders of what an adrenaline rush feels like. Mostly luck & a little skill kept me safe (rule 1--don't panic--if you can't follow rule 1, [some people can't] then don't ride). My casualties came from automobiles with drivers not seeing me--twice. I was "lucky" because I still have both legs--steel plate in my good leg and I can walk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

A guy on a Harley died near my home when he hit a 300 lb Whitetail buck at night. Police think he was traveling about 70 mph. The buck died on the spot and the rider died at the hospital.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Oncet Ah gotta hornet inside my helmet, behind my face shield.

Almost crashed.

Woulda never happent if I hadn't been wearing a helmet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

turkeys are like flying bowling balls ive seen 1 bounce of the top of a car in front of me and my uncle replaced his radiator last month from one. last summer i came up on a guy who hit a four pointer in velvet he hit at about 55 on his crotch rocket. he flipped over the bars and was pretty busted up not sure the extent of his injuries his friend was talking to him as i parked my car with hazards on down the hill. I cut the head off and European mounted it the velvet antlers shrunk and hardened?. Sent to the guy about a month later kind of "happy Gilmore" of me but figured he killed it.
Another story of road kill on a motorcycle happened about a mile from my house where my neighbor decapitated a doe with his handlebar shattering his hand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

OK, here goes...on Interstate 5, Seattle, on a clear day (not raining, go figure), about noon. I'm on two wheels, going the speed limit, riding one up and just a few car lengths behind a small family van. I can see it all happen, almost in slow motion. A pidgeon, flying in my direction, strikes the top of the van, where the windshield and the roof meet. It's a white-out of feathers and I'm in it with no way out. I've picked bugs out of my teeth before, but never feathers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

So far, so good! Only bugs for me but I ride slow in areas where I see a lot of deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from blackdawgz wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Oncet Ah gotta hornet inside my helmet, behind my face shield.

Almost crashed.

Woulda never happent if I hadn't been wearing a helmet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hank111 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I have been expecting that to happen here. We have scenic byway paved winding roads around me that attract 100s of motorcyclists every weekend from the city across the river in Nebraska, since Iowa does not have a helmet law. Very little law enforcement way out here so the guys that ride the crotch rockets scream around 100+ mph. Every year 2 or 3 people are killed by deer, but we have so many turkeys flying back and forth across the hyway that its a matter of time before they pick off a few bikers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I can't imagine a turkey wopping your noggin at that speed. She is luck her neck was not snapped even if she had been wearing a helmet.

I had a dead and falling mallard duck wack me in the forehead once and it was like getting hit with a bowling ball!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Good to hear that she's recovering well from her injuries. Except for a small bird, I've never actually hit an animal on a bike. Had several near misses though--dog, fox, a couple of rabbits, a vulture, and a deer that could have been a widowmaker--all reminders of what an adrenaline rush feels like. Mostly luck & a little skill kept me safe (rule 1--don't panic--if you can't follow rule 1, [some people can't] then don't ride). My casualties came from automobiles with drivers not seeing me--twice. I was "lucky" because I still have both legs--steel plate in my good leg and I can walk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

A guy on a Harley died near my home when he hit a 300 lb Whitetail buck at night. Police think he was traveling about 70 mph. The buck died on the spot and the rider died at the hospital.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cgull wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I had a dove try the same thing with me, me-1 dove-0. Luckly thats the only animal that I've encontered while bike riding. She's very lucky to survive the collision.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott powers wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

wow i hope that she all better and it made her think about a helmet!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from logan.vandermay wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Last year I had a grouse hit me in the chest while riding my fourwheeler down the road and it was dead in its tracks when I came back by an hour later. Surprisingly it didnt hurt when it hit me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

turkeys are like flying bowling balls ive seen 1 bounce of the top of a car in front of me and my uncle replaced his radiator last month from one. last summer i came up on a guy who hit a four pointer in velvet he hit at about 55 on his crotch rocket. he flipped over the bars and was pretty busted up not sure the extent of his injuries his friend was talking to him as i parked my car with hazards on down the hill. I cut the head off and European mounted it the velvet antlers shrunk and hardened?. Sent to the guy about a month later kind of "happy Gilmore" of me but figured he killed it.
Another story of road kill on a motorcycle happened about a mile from my house where my neighbor decapitated a doe with his handlebar shattering his hand.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

OK, here goes...on Interstate 5, Seattle, on a clear day (not raining, go figure), about noon. I'm on two wheels, going the speed limit, riding one up and just a few car lengths behind a small family van. I can see it all happen, almost in slow motion. A pidgeon, flying in my direction, strikes the top of the van, where the windshield and the roof meet. It's a white-out of feathers and I'm in it with no way out. I've picked bugs out of my teeth before, but never feathers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

So far, so good! Only bugs for me but I ride slow in areas where I see a lot of deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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