METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - A turtle crossed the road on West Esplanade Avenue, triggering a two-vehicle accident that sent a vehicle containing a mother and her 3-year-old son into a drainage canal.
The accident happened around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday on West Esplanade near the intersection of Craig Avenue.
A mother and child were pulled to safety by a passerby who witnessed the accident, according to Jefferson Parish deputies.
Deputies say that the 34-year-old mother was driving her 2002 Mazda Tribute eastbound on West Esplanade when she spotted a turtle near the intersection of Craig Avenue. She stopped to allow the turtle to safely cross the road.
As the vehicle was stopped, Officers say that a second vehicle, driven by 77-year-old Glenda Penard, slammed into the rear of the SUV.
The SUV traveled over a curb and into a drainage canal, where the vehicle partially dipped below the water, officers say.
Witnesses stopped to help the mother and son, pulling the pair from the rear of the partially submerged SUV. They were taken to the hospital, treated and released.
Investigators cited Penard for following too closely. Officers said she complained of chest and back pain and transported herself to a local hospital.
The turtle did not survive.