Dante Wiskow, a truck driver for Beer Farms LLC, was having a normal drive on Wednesday of last week. He was cruising on 35E near Eagan—“not much going on”—when the first turkey flew past his trailer.
He barely had time to process this before he caught sight of a second turkey on the road, maybe 100 feet off his left-hand side. And preparing to launch.
With seconds to spare, Wiskow ducked his head and shielded his eyes before this tom crashed through his windshield. Mercifully, the bird entered on the passenger side. Wiskow swears the tom must've run 35 pounds.
“It wasn’t a normal-sized turkey,” he says.
Wiskow did all he could think of, flipping on his hazard lights and scooting his truck to the shoulder. He glanced down and saw the turkey sitting in his passenger seat—“startled,” but alert and otherwise fine. Dante and tom were both trying to wrap their minds around what just happened.
Once he was safely pulled over, Wiskow assessed his situation. The semi was stopped—that was a good thing. But his windshield was a fractured, imploded mess, and now he had a live turkey in his car. He grabbed his winter gloves, like a bootleg falconer, and made his way around the truck to the passenger side.
By then, the turkey had migrated to the other side of the cab and was gazing at him unhelpfully from the driver-side door. No go: Cars zoomed by too quickly for Wiskow to wrestle with the bird from there. And besides, Wiskow didn’t want it waddling off into traffic again and causing another mess.
Around that time, an Eagan police officer came cruising down the road and caught sight of a man “frantically” waving his arms on the shoulder, according to information officer Aaron Machtemes.
“The turkey was just hanging out in the cab,” Machtemes says. He’s sure this kind of thing has happened to someone before, but this was a first for him. Andrew Beer, the owner of Beer Farms, confirmed it was a new one for the company, too.
The turkey was not available for comment.
State patrol joined the officer in stopping traffic so Wiskow could grab the turkey by the legs and throw him over the fence—and out of trouble. After it landed, it popped upright and toddled off into the brush, like “nothing happened,” according to a Facebook post by the Eagan Police Department.
As it turns out, you really don’t need to be driving at highway speeds, or even moving at all, to risk turkeygeddon. Turkeys get up to some weird shit during mating season, which lasts from mid-April to early May. Around this time last year, one of these local crash test dummies broke through a Stillwater woman’s third-story picture window for reasons unknown and died behind her couch.
Wiskow was also uninjured, but the truck needed new glass before he could hit the road again. He says he’s been “good” since then, but can’t help but flinch every time something flies in front of his windshield.