• No serious injuries were reported following the incident
  • The turtle also managed to survive the car-pileup
  • The Sheriff's Office advised drivers against stopping on a busy roadway to help an animal

A Florida truck driver caused a multi-car pileup when they stopped right in the middle of a road to protect a turtle attempting to cross the path.

The truck driver was driving on Highway 331 South Tuesday morning when they noticed a turtle trying to cross the road. The driver stopped to allow the turtle to cross the road, resulting in a chain of crashes on the highway, Pensacola News Journal reported.

"This morning's crash was the result of a motorist stopping on 331 S to let a turtle cross the highway. A decision that caused a chain reaction affecting multiple vehicles including a large semi, which SURPRISE, doesn't exactly stop on a dime. Or a silver dollar for that matter," Walton County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday.

The Sheriff's Office released a dashcam video from an 18-wheel truck showing the pileup, which began with a black pickup truck stopping in the left lane. The video further shows a sedan pulling into the truck's lane before colliding with the 18-wheeler, causing it to strike another stopped vehicle. In the last seconds of the video, the truck was seen driving over the turtle.

Police confirmed there were no serious injuries following the incident, even though the motorist who initially halted for the turtle was out of his halted vehicle when the 18-wheeler struck it.

"Thankfully, there were no serious injuries," police said, as per CBS42.

The turtle also managed to survive the incident and was taken to a pond by authorities for safety.

"The turtle survived and is now living happily ever after in a pond where he will (hopefully) spend the rest of his days avoiding pavement of any kind," the WCSO statement said.

The sheriff's office further advised drivers against stopping on a busy roadway to help an animal as it can pose a risk to them and other drivers.

"We all can do better to protect the wildlife and natural inhabitants of our great state," the sheriff's office wrote. "Residents and visitors alike should marvel at the many species that call Florida home. Just preferably not in the middle of the road."

Deputies asked drivers to stay aware of their surroundings and how their decisions could impact other motorists because of a "reptilian obstruction."

"While no ill intentions were meant, trying to avoid or assist an animal who has made its way onto a busy road can cause you or other drivers life-threatening injuries," police warned. "When you come across this predicament in the future and find yourself asking, "to swerve or not to swerve" or "to stop and protect" we hope the answer will now be an obvious one."

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / Kanenori