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Turkey's time is up

Courier-Times Staff Report - editor@thecouriertimes.com

The community was shocked and saddened Friday afternoon to hear that local celebrity turkey, Free Bird, was killed crossing the road.

“Somebody hit it and left,” New Castle Police Chief Matt Schofield said.

Posts began popping up on Facebook just before noon bemoaning Free Bird’s death.

“Too soon, RIP,” posted local farmer Kory Koger.

“Say it ain’t so...” said Paul Morrell from Rush County.

“Well, unfortunately this was inevitable with his propensity to play in traffic,” Jay Lines added.

Local podcast The Boss Hog of Liberty produced a tribute video featuring some of Free Bird’s most popular videos, and audio clips from a Thanksgiving-themed skit from the radio program Bob & Tom.

The video was uploaded to the New Castle Turkey Facebook page, a personal blog that gave voice to the fearless bird, which it called Eric.

The official Bob & Tom Facebook page replied to the tribute with a short: “RIP.”

Some people traveling along South Memorial Drive on Friday even shared grisly photos of the scene of Free Bird’s hit-and-run accident.

Chief Schofield said New Castle Mayor Greg York personally removed the turkey’s body from the road so that it wouldn’t keep getting run over by the afternoon traffic.

“I hate for it to have happened. We were in communication with DNR trying to get them to relocate it,” Schofield said. “It’s just unfortunate it didn’t get done in time.”

Schofield said the death is being considered a roadkill incident. Because there were no damaged car parts found at the scene, there is not an active investigation.

York previously said the spotlight turkey was part of a small flock of birds that roosts near his business along County Road 100 South.

“We thought it was the same one that kept coming out in the road,” Schofield said about the bird that died Friday. “The others are thought to be staying down by the vault company.”