OHP Trooper Has Shocking Run-In With Wildlife While On Patrol

Wednesday, September 29th 2021, 5:03 pm
By: Brittany Toolis

CUSHING, Oklahoma -

A fowl suspect had a run-in with the law last Friday. A big bird, which turned out to be a vulture, smashed an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper's windshield.

Trooper Anthony Harper said he saw the vulture on the side of the road. He expected it to fly away like others have in the past. Instead, it flew right into his windshield.

"Initially, I was like, what was that?" Harper said.

Harper was headed to an accident near Perkins when he hit more than just a bump in the road.

"Quite honestly, it sounded like a gun going off inside of my patrol unit," Harper said.

The dashcam video shows the bird on the side of the road as Harper drove up a slight incline. The bird looks to take off, and at last second, it flew to the left and slammed into the passenger side of squad car's windshield. The glass shattered as a plume of feathers exploded inside the car.

"Glass and feathers were everywhere," Harper said. "At the same time, I had on a pair of sunglasses so that protected my eyes somewhat and allowed me to move safely over to the side of the road."

Harper said his first instinct after realizing he didn't have injuries was to get to the side of the road.

"When critical things happen, your time slows down. The space around you slows down," he said.

After he pulled over, Harper took inventory of the damage.

"It looked like somebody had a pillow fight inside of my patrol car," Harper said.

The crash led to a lengthy clean up.

"It was a two-hour job of cleaning feathers and glass," he said.

Ironically, the trooper wasn't the only one in the area to have a run-in with the local wildlife.

"That was also a crash involving an animal. The crash I was headed to involved a deer; the car was in the roadway creating a hazard," he said. 

A separate troop responded to the accident. Harper said he got an ear full when he returned to the station

"We razz each other as much as possible when things like this happen; just showing the love," he said.

The squad car has a new windshield, but Harper said if his squad looked a little dirty it's because he still must wait a few days before he can give the car a wash.