New Normal: Couple Suddenly Stops for Turtle on Expressway Almost Killing Humans in Truck Behind

By Ken Gibson

This weekend on Sunrise Highway, a black man almost lost his life to two white people.

Driving a 26-footer loaded with heavy deliveries, he was faced with the strange spectacle of a Toyota suddenly stopping in the middle lane, with the rest of the cars whizzing by.

Applying the brakes and keeping the truck steady, so as not to allow it to swerve and cause mass destruction, he did a great job of staying straight and not getting into either of the two lanes on the sides.

His windshield was covered in broken glass and what looked like blood. The vehicle in front, that had inexplicably stopped short with no warning, moved to the side of the road and the truck he was driving followed.

The Toyota had been hit, with its back window shattered, while the truck sustained damage to its front and the coolant leaked a reddish liquid.  Fortunately, no one was injured. This could have been bad, very bad.

The seasoned response of the truck driver served to ensure that there was no injury or loss of life. He had a hard choice, forced to brake, with traffic behind him that could have piled on if he had been too sudden in his approach.

His cool response is why I am still here to write about it; I was the passenger in the truck.

What happened next was even more unnerving than being in a 26′ truck having an accident.

Getting out, I ran up to the smaller car in front, going over and over in my mind the first responder training I had in the Navy.

Two people, a man and a woman, answered my question about their health by telling me that they might have whiplash – and bizarrely yelling that they had to stop for a turtle. A really big turtle they insisted, indicating with their hands a creature about 5-6 feet in length. Which might be right for the Galapagos Islands, but not for Exit 46A on Sunrise Highway in Suffolk County, New York.

7 Reasons why turtles make good pets (Pictures). I want this one ...
The couple who suddenly stopped claimed the turtle was 5-6 feet, an unlikely story in NYC.

Their claim of whiplash and large reptile sightings was surreal.

But yes there might have been a turtle, maybe a 10-inch turtle, or a toy turtle, on the road, the driver had seen it; but unlike the couple in the Toyota, he did not endanger people’s lives by stopping for it.  And no one else on the road stopped or even slowed down for this reptile, despite their claims that ‘everybody’ did so.

That too was a surreal part of their dialogue.

Far from it, most or all were driving in tandem, at just about the speed limit, some over, but not causing accidents.

The Highway Patrol arrived and talked to both sides, making a brief preliminary report. The couple who stopped for the turtle was unashamed to tell him of their reason for stopping.

I was more shocked at their brazen attitude than at the accident itself. In fact, not only were they nonchalant about their deed, but they seemed proud of it.

What if that had been a bus full of school children behind them? Would they have jumped out claiming whiplash and announcing their deed as a righteous act?

The officer mentioned that this kind of accident has been increasing. And so did some of the locals, who were getting calls to tell them that the merchandise they were expecting would not be delivered today. One woman was in tears, having taken a day off of work to get a present for her children. Other deliveries included medical equipment. Area clinics will now have to wait to get life-saving equipment because a do-gooder couple decided to save the life of a turtle while risking human life.

Checking on the internet, I find that this is becoming a new normal: in fact, it is not just causing fender benders, but fatalities. In 2019 a semi crashed North Carolina, killing a 68-year-old truck driver Arthur Ray Turner on Highway 17. In front of him, a woman in an SUV stopped suddenly to save a turtle. She ended up sending a man to the hospital, where he died of gruesome injuries a day later.

Black lives matter less than turtles to some people.

I am not sure if the SUV driver who caused the trucker to be injured and killed was even charged. Strangely, these turtle fanatics have support and political clout – thus they can get away with putting their pet cause above the law in some areas, and walk away with no penalty.

But another such incident did result in the criminal prosecution of a person who caused death: Emma Czornobaj. She had stopped to help ducks along a highway and was found guilty of triggering an accident that claimed two lives. She lost her appeal.

Emma Czornobaj says prison is not where she belongs | CBC News
Emma Czornobaj saved some ducks but her actions resulted in the deaths of two people.

A jury convicted her in June 2014 of two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.

Jean-Francois Bouveret, her lawyer, appealed the conviction and tried to have her driving ban reduced. Why? This woman is a danger to society, as are the two who stopped today and almost claimed lives.

Black lives, white lives, my life, your life; all are in jeopardy so stupid do-gooders can boast about helping a turtle. Which may have been a toy, plastic turtle. Who knows.

The issue is of growing concern, and on the internet, many comments can be found – such as this one from Bruce A. McIntyre, dated 6 April 2019:

“Generally, if a vehicle runs into the rear of your vehicle, then they’re at fault for not being in control of their vehicle. However, you may be held as responsible because of a lack of warning for your stop. Stopping for a turtle or small animal while in traffic may be seen as dangerous contributing factors.”

A Titusville, Florida accident in 2019, involving a car stopping to save a turtle, elicited the following from Titusville Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson: ”We strongly urge against drivers stopping their vehicles in the middle of a travel lane because it creates a significant risk to public safety.”

The Titusville incident was devoid of injury, but a Cove City, North Carolina accident sent people to the hospital after a man tried to help a turtle on Highway 70. The do-gooder’s SUV was an obstacle to others, and people ended up in the Carolina East Medical Center as a result, while the driver of the SUV, Higinio Batista was charged with reckless driving.

On a Garden State road in 2008, Julio Pagan was struck in his Ford after a motorist in an Infiniti slowed down to avoid a turtle, causing Dominique Flipping to run into him and cross the line.

Flipping got a ticket for reckless driving.

And in Missouri, two bikers collided when one of them decided to make a sudden U-turn for the sake of a turtle.

This trend is of concern. Much as I am an environmentalist, I would never endanger people to save a turtle in the middle of the road. I have no right to, and neither does anyone else.

Yes, turtle lives matter. By all means, if one can safely slow down on some quiet road or even get out and push the creature to safety, do so. But stopping on a highway with hundreds of other vehicles whizzing by can cause massive pile-ups.

The two who almost did so this morning were let go. They are what some would consider a danger to society. They ought to be arrested, and there ought to be some very clear laws that make this a crime.

Presently, the law is on the side of a driver that is hit from behind, making an assumption that they ought to have stopped. Tell that to Arthur Ray Turner, who is cold in the earth – along with the turtle that some fool tried to save with no regard to truckers and other drivers on the road.

I will be calling the Suffolk County police department to get them to make an arrest, and writing to lawmakers in that area – starting with Congressman Lee Zeldin  – to get them to save lives by addressing this issue.

Let’s hope they move on this faster than a turtle. Let no one stop to save their political careers if they turn turtle on us.  This is an issue that needs to be moved on quickly and efficiently before more lives are lost.

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  • This is a good issue. It is a real one, with lives at stake. However, the author might need to be realistic to some facts.
    The driver of the truck was black. The county, Suffolk, is not Detroit. It is one of the whitest counties in the US. Rich
    whites might not like to have idiot stopping dead on the highway, but a black driver is not going to get as much mileage
    as say, Hamptonites like Billy Joel. If the driver had been a rich white CEO then yes I am sure the cops would have arrested
    the idiot who stopped dead on Rt 27. After confessing to the crime – and crime it is – read the speed signs on Rt 27 aka Sunrise Highway – they work both ways: Max – 55/Min 40.
    If an accident happens and the driver admits to being 40mph over the speed limit, no doubt they would be in jail.
    But go 40mph UNDER and you get to speed off to the next exit to endanger more people.
    Well, maybe not if the driver in the vehicle behind you is white; or rich.
    A poor black man making a living making deliveries?
    He gets blamed. Under some lazy thinking that ALL drivers in front are right and ALL drivers in back in any accidents whatsoever
    are wrong.
    Obviously, every crack head, every idiot who pulls out in front, every idiot who stops for turtles, mice, mosquitoes or whatever
    is able to screw everyone and kill people. Anthony Turner is dead thanks to laws like this that ENCOURAGE total idiocy.
    The author does not say if the driver who killed Turner was arrested. And was Turner black? If so, I doubt the driver was arrested.
    White cops in NC might just look the other way.
    What will white cops in Suffolk County do?
    The easy way is to do nothing.
    The real job at hand is to go arrest the DrPrima-Biens who admitted to committing reckless endangerment and driving UNDER the speed limit.
    The DA needs to prosecute this, and lawmakers, such as Lee Zeldin, need to get laws up to date.
    Or, they can wait till a rich, white person gets hurt or killed, or a busload of white kids, and then they can raise
    hell and act like they are on the job.
    Let’s hope they just do their job and arrest those who endanger others and then revise the laws.
    Lawmakers are PAID to do just that. If they can’t do that, then vote them out.
    Zeldin BTW is GOP, the first GOP congressmen in many decades there.
    Let’s see what this freshman is made of.
    Do black lives, truckers’ lives, all lives matter there or just trendy white people who make up their own rules
    on the roads that all us taxpayers pay for?

  • Re The New Normal

    As I correctly predicted in March, to much derision here:

    “The pandemic has caused historic levels of hunger nationwide. Drone footage of seemingly endless lines of cars waiting to pick up food from pantries in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas convey the scope of our new reality, in which food insecurity is meaningfully higher than at any point for which there is comparable data, as a study by the Brookings Institution found. According to that report, more than 1 in 5 households in the U.S. were food insecure by the end of April, the most recent month for which data is available, as were 2 in 5 households with mothers of children ages 12 and under.”

    – Sharon Lerner

    Apparently the situation is particularly severe in Canarsie, which has the highest rate of deaths from Covid-19 in New York City.

    This is a major humanitarian crisis unfolding in our midst.

  • Hi Ken-
    few points of contention with this story:

    1. People on Sunrise highway speed all the time in Nassau County. The WASPS in Suffolk County don’t speed? The Long Island Expressway 495 and every other highway, including Sunrise Highway is like NASCAR. It’s bumper to bumper 55mph to 75 MPH. Sunrise highway is worse than any of the other expressways because there are traffic lights. People get rear ended all the time.

    2. The could who stopped short for a make believe turtle who complained about whiplash are probably semi-pro insurance fraudsters or the couple came up with a BS excuse because they thought they needed one for stopping short. Most people or layman do not no the law and that the the vehicle hitting the forward vehicle is almost always at fault.

    Point being the couple was full of shit either way. I guarantee the married couple are not tree-huggers. Tree huggers in Long Island are like blacks at the Sands Point Country Club in Long Island They don’t exist.
    3. Suffolk County cops care about complaints? Wow!!! Maybe. Cops in Nassau County would laugh at you to your face if you made that kind of complaint.

    Lastly Federal law regarding forward operating motor vehicles and the vehicles that hit them being at fault is never changing. It’s especially not changing because you have decided it’s a bad idea. Motor vehicles are supposed to keep a safe distance from forward vehicles. The faster you go the farther back you should be.

    The trucker wasn’t tailgating the married couple? How would you know if you were back a few cars and behind the truck?

    Once again, there never was a real turtle in the road; the people aren’t tree huggers they were lying.

    I find it ponderous that you grew up in Long Island; because nearly everybody in Long Island are lying assholes and everyone can spot bullshit a mile away. Why can’t you spot bullshit? Is it because you live in Montauk, in a blue blood enclave?

    I moved to Massachusetts for the better quality human beings. You should too.

    You got a trust fund? I’ll hook you up with my brother in-law. He does investing. You want some “pink sheet” IPO? Let me know

    • You seem to make a few points and presumptions here. First, Sunrise Highway where I grew up – Merrick/Bellmore, does have traffic lights. That is Nassau. This was Suffolk. It does not have traffic lights there.
      WASPS speed, at this very moment I saw somebody, possibly a WASP, speeding at a rate so high that I could not ask his religion
      or specific ethnicity. He was in the left lane, and he cut in front of the DiPrima-Biens (the two who stopped for a turtle). I thought at first
      that maybe they slowed to let him in.
      His, or her? fast pace may have been 75mph or more. And it shreds their assertion that ‘Everyone stopped for the turtle.’ That driver did not, and neither did the driver on the left.
      You may well be correct, though at this point it is still an assumption, that they are insurance fraudsters.
      However, the presumption of innocence on their part and guilt on the part of the black truck driver is not without challenge; recent precedent exists of these kind of people being charged for reckless endangerment.
      So now an update, which will answer part of your comment. I emailed and called the Suffolk County DA, who replied that I must file
      a police complaint. The DA’s office forwarded my email so that will help.
      It may be only my feeling, but I do believe that while the Highway Patrolman on the scene did not immediately arrest the DrPrima-Biens, he is well aware that they are at fault. He cannot show such emotion in the course of his job, so I respect his actions completely. Yes, I did want to be more vocal at the scene, but he followed protocol and restricted his taking of statements to the drivers/owners.
      So far his report is only a preliminary one, he has 14 days to write a full report.
      By which time I hope to have the DiPrima-Biens arrested for reckless endangerment. And a background check on them to see if they do go in for insurance fraud would prove useful.
      BTW, I am good at judging distance on the road, my job as driver’s assistant while en route includes that; things like bridges I scan for height, I watch for any traffic, J-walkers, etc. I learned to judge distance by standing watch in the Navy, sometimes I would spot a ship and call it out with a correct distance before sonar got it.
      The truck driver was driving with both hands on the wheel, fully alert, in a good mood, and with a very safe distance. With a full payload in a 26 footer it is almost impossible to speed. My friend owns the truck, and I was in a position to make sure that things were done safely and efficiently. The driver was not speeding or acting in any unsafe manner.
      The general sweeping statement about everyone in LI is not true, however, LI has its share of idiots, like any other place.
      And of tree-huggers, there is a large left wing contingent out there, the Hamptons are not known for gun toting rednecks.
      So we will see. The next step is for me to file a police report.
      The ultimate goal is to make sure that no more people are terribly injured and killed, and this involves taking on some lazy lawmakers who want to follow the lazy path of presumption making every rear ending accident the fault of the motorist behind.
      I don’t expect it will be an easy battle, but it needs to be done.

      • Ken,

        —You seem to make a few points and presumptions here.

        Doesn’t everyone make presumptions and trust assumptions.

        The forward operating vehicle stopping short is never at fault for a very good
        reason. The reason being traffic accidents would be quasi “he said, she said” situations and the state court systems throughout America would have even larger backlogs.

        Another reason for the forward motor vehicle never being at fault is too promote safe distances between cars on road ways. A motor vehicle the old adage is “should maintain a distance relative to its speed to be able to stop short.”

        You are right the “present rules are unfair”. I’m sure in the not so distant future when street cams become ubiquitous the rules will change.

        My major gripe with your article is that when people see the top photo, the article title and skim through the article, they will come to the conclusion that libtards are driving around squirrels and causing traffic accidents. Case in point Shadowstate.

        I know Libtards do cause accidents trying to avoid animals. It does happen.

        After rereading your article I realized your intention was not to spread BS and be disingenuous.

        I want to apologize for being a caustic ass in my previous comment. I have in the past enjoyed reading your news stories and thanked you for your “man on the street reporting”.

  • It would be tragic if the people in the truck behind were black. If they’re white then it’s fine

    • I will say 85% of adults in Nassau County are assholes. I’m not exaggerating. Nassau County Long Island makes the people living in Buffalo seem warm and fuzzy.

  • More Adventures in Liberal Insanity!

    Gwyneth Paltrow plugs ‘Smells Like My Orgasm’ candle with help from son, Moses

    Gwyneth Paltrow just loves the smell of her own scent.

    Tuesday on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” the Goop queen introduced the latest to her odiferous collection of candles, inspired by Paltrow’s own B.O., called “This Smells Like My Orgasm.”

    The 10.5-ounce candle costs $75 and is available on Goop’s website, alongside a colorful description: “A fitting follow-up to that candle — you know the one — this blend is made with tart grapefruit, neroli and ripe cassis berries blended with gunpowder tea and Turkish rose absolutes for a scent that’s sexy, surprising and wildly addictive.”

    The candle, a collaboration between Goop and fragrance brand Heretic, is currently available in the US only.


    • Frank, I thought you weren’t going to post off-topic comments. LOL

      Now, if this were a squished turtle or turtle poop/pee scented candle, that would be okay. LOL

      I almost miss the good ‘old days of Mr. Shadow [redacted]. LOL. [redacted] LOL

      • Scott,

        You, Bangkok, and myself miss the good “old-days” from a week ago.

        Once Frank’s comment section runs into
        a circa jerk, caffe latte, of pseudo-quasi-intellectual-libtard-conversational-bullshit….Frank will be begging us to return to the good the old days. Quite frankly, I am surprised the new rules have lasted for over 48 hours.

          • Frank, we both know that’s your bride speaking. (Kidding. Just breaking balls)

            In all seriousness, I’m happy for you! I understand why you needed to put the Kibosh on the foul and mean comments before the new advertising kicked in.

            I am actually seeing ads for brand name goods and services. Crap I actually will purchase instead of the pedestrian crap I was seeing before.

          • Scott, we don’t like each other and that was our bond.

            I will the days of busting balls with you. It had been close to 20 years with no ball busting.

            I will admit now, on a few occasions, you did have some good lines and comebacks for a [redacted] extra special guy.

            “No man epitomizes a jack-ass more than the man who thinks he is greater than himself” – Source Unknown

    • Shadow,

      All we really want to know is how many candles you ordered?

      Sorry my friend, you walked right into that one.

  • You were there [redacted] LOL

    I agree people should think ahead of time what they would do if they come across something in the highway, sometimes without much time to react. LOL

    However, you never know how you would respond in real life until it happens to you. LOL

    Scott almost rear-ended a vehicle in front of him during rush hour traffic, in which cars follow too closely, but that is better than leaving more room for others to veer in and out as they try to save a few seconds of travel time. He saw movement in the bed of a pick-em-up truck two vehicles in front of him, and took his foot off the gas, just before the vehicle in front of him slammed on his brakes because a dog had jumped out of the bed of the truck. Of course, Scott was rear-ended. LOL

    This may be happening more because the turtles have gotten used to less traffic on the roads, thanks to the beer virus, but it is nothing new. LOL

    Good luck on getting the politicians’ attention, especially during an election year, let them know about the millions of new people being scammed every year by Amway and other MLM scams while you’re at it. LOL

    • Hi Scott,

      “Scott was rear-ended. LOL”

      I am glad you finally admit it.

      Did the male driver slam into you hard?

      Did your airbags or did the other drivers airbags explode?

          • Scott admitted he was rear-ended by another vehicle. LOL

            As he recalls, it was a woman driver. LOL

            Figure out the plumbing on that rear-end collision, NiceGuy 666. LOL

        • I am [redacted] too? Mmh. You do have an active imagination. No I am not [redacted.

          I wish all [redacted] well.

          Scott, you are a [redacted].

          Have you ever cared or even been nice to another person? Have you ever helped a stranger jump their battery or help a stranger change their car tire? I have.

          I find you to be the antithesis of a caring person.

          I find people like you to be completely alien.

          • You have no idea who I am as a person, NiceGuy 666. LOL

            You won’t even talk with me on the phone. LOL

    • I will be on this case tooth and nail. However, I will leave any Amway related fights to Scott.

        • Amway problems are bigger than the issue of truckers getting killed, other people getting killed, and the possibility of more deaths? Are we missing something here – Amway is killing people?
          Or is someone just annoyed that they did not succeed at selling toilet paper?

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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