Collision with 'Eddie the eagle' startles Metro driver

eagleIt all happened so fast for a Metro bus driver who hit 'Eddie the eagle' on the 520 bridge Tuesday morning.

Linda Thielke, spokesperson with King County Metro, told 97.3 KIRO FM's Ross and Burbank Show that the driver, who reported his story to his supervisor, had no idea the bird was an eagle.

Listen to Linda Thielke, King County Metro, discusses eagle incident

"As the bird got closer, it took off and started flying in the same direction as the bus. All of a sudden, it just made this really hard turn and turned right into the windshield," said Thielke.

The collision startled the driver, but he was able to keep his cool and continue driving across the bridge during the morning commute.

The right side of the bus windshield was cracked, but maintenance crews made repairs after the crash.

The eagle is believed to be the male of a pair that nests at the nearby Broadmoor Golf Course in Seattle. Eddie was often spotted perched on one of the bridge's light poles.

His carcass will be sent to a federal repository near Denver, which will distribute his feathers to Native American tribes for ceremonial purposes.

Thielke said she's not aware if the driver is seeking counseling for his role in the eagle's death, but "they can be relieved of duty and get counseling for any kind of issue that might be upsetting."

By Stephanie Klein, Editor

Related: 520 bridge's 'Eddie the eagle' dies

Stephanie Klein, Editor
Stephanie joined the team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012).
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