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The daughter pulled over and got help from another motorist. According to a 911 recording, both were surprised by what they found.
“There is a turtle in there,” the man can be overheard saying.
The gash drew a lot of blood, but the woman was not seriously hurt. The turtle was likely crossing the interstate and got knocked into the air by another vehicle.
“I swear to God this lady has the worst luck of anything,” the daughter told the 911 operator as she tended to her injured mother.
The turtle, on the other hand, had the best luck of anything — it just had a few scratches on its shell and was released back into the nearby woods, Port Orange police officer Andre Fleming said.
Gopher tortoises are dry-land turtles that usually live in relatively well-drained, sandy soils generally associated with longleaf pine and dry oak sandhills. They also live in scrub, dry hammock, pine flatwoods, dry prairie, coastal grasslands and dunes, mixed hardwood-pine communities, and a variety of habitats that have been disturbed or altered by man, such as power line rights-of-way, and along roadsides.