Life in the fast lane: Turtle brings preacher, officer together on Alabama roadside
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Life can come at you fast, or in the case of a turtle looking to cross a busy Alabama highway, very slow. The story could only get more folksy if a police officer and a preacher were to happen onto the scene. That’s exactly what happened.
The shell of the story is simple. Like a lot of wildlife, the turtle just wanted to make its way from one place to the next, not realizing the dangers of getting into the road.
Edna and Michael Crayton were driving along Troy Highway when they noticed the huge turtle on the edge of the road.
“He was standing on all 4 legs, with his head out,” Edna Crayton explained, adding “we believed he wanted to cross the very busy highway.”
The couple passed the turtle, which was the biggest they’d ever seen, then quickly decided to make a U-turn, park safely along the roadside and try to usher the animal to safety.
Efforts to guide the creature back into the grass with a push-broom they found in their van proved mostly unsuccessful. And as the minutes passed by, so did all the traffic, which Edna Crayton said was “looking and wishing him well, but no one stopped to help.”
Nearly 10 minutes after Mrs. Crayton and her preacher husband heeded their calling to help the least of these, they got some assistance.
“The Lord allowed the right officer, animal-loving, to turn from Troy Highway to Trotman,” she recalled. “After assessing the situation, the officer put on his gloves and tried to grab the turtle, but the turtle was not having that. I believed he snapped.”
The broom an unsuccessful tool, the Craytons returned to their van where they realized they had a large, empty bin.
“Grabbing that, my husband and the officer guided the turtle into the bin and loaded him into our van,” she explained. “With a trooper escort, we drove a few yards back down Trotman, near a bridge and a body of water. Then the preacher and the officer carried the turtle to a safe location and released him.”
While they didn’t get the officer’s name, the Craytons said they were thankful for his help, and that he’d noted objects in the roadway are the cause of a number of accidents.
The preacher, the officer, and turtle went their separate ways, but not without some gratitude for each other.
“So by that kind act to save the turtle, the preacher and the officer might have saved a life or two,” Edna Crayton explained.
Copyright 2022 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.