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WORTHINGTON (KDKA) — The driver of a tour bus was injured Saturday afternoon in Armstrong County when a wayward wild turkey flew into the vehicle’s path and crashed into the windshield, shattering the glass.
The bus was headed west on Route 422 near Graff Farm Road in West Franklin Township, just west of Worthington, when the accident happened just before 2 p.m.
The driver of the bus, 53-year-old Joseph Rychecky of Wisconsin, said two turkeys came out of nowhere.
“One turkey came up out of nowhere… about a 90-foot drop over here by the guardrail, up and over the highway. I started getting on the brake because I figured where there’s one, there’s another one,” said Rychecky. “The other one came up. There was… I thought not to go through the guardrail, to hit the animal, and he hit my windshield. I must have been doing about 45 miles an hour when he hit the windshield.”
According to state police, Rychecky suffered minor injuries.
He was taken to Armstrong County Memorial Hospital after another bus was brought in to pick up the passengers. He was treated for some small cuts to the face due to flying glass from the windshield.
“Glass everywhere, glass everywhere,” Rychecky told KDKA. “Thank God I had a pair of glasses on cause the glass went into my eyes and everything else.”
The bus was carrying a group heading home from a religious conference at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Mark Vucekovich, the pastor and North American coordinator with University Bible Fellowship, said there were about 45 people on the bus. None were injured.
“We were driving back to Chicago, everyone was pretty tired. We just had our lunches on the bus, and all of the sudden, we heard this incredibly loud bang on the bus,” said Vucekovich. “It sounded like someone threw a rock at the windshield, a big rock, and the bus driver pulled over.”
The passengers praised the Rychecky for safely bringing the bus to a stop.
“We saw shattered glass, and we were really concerned about him, but he was amazing,” Vucekovich said. “He pulled the bus over; glass was all over him, all over the floor, as you can see a big hole there and we were just so grateful and moved that he acted so professionally.”