Sheriff’s deputy praised for helping to save wounded bald eagle on busy highway

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy is being lauded for playing a role in saving a wounded bald eagle on Sunday.

Marion County Sheriff’s Dep. Austin Coon used his patrol car to block traffic Sunday before helping a bald eagle with a broken wing.

Deputy Austin Coon was traveling on U.S. Hwy. 441 in Summerfield when he noticed several vehicles beginning to slow down. Thinking there was a car crash or a disabled vehicle, Coon activated his emergency lights to stop traffic behind him.

It didn’t take long for Coon to discover the real issue – an injured bald eagle in the middle of the roadway. The bird apparently had been struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Hwy. 441 and SE Hwy. 42 and was suffering from what appeared to be a broken wing, a sheriff’s office report states.

Coon was able to corral the eagle to the side of the road into the grass and then called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help. A short time later, a specialized wildlife rehabilitator arrived and was able to take the eagle to a rehabilitation facility for treatment, the report says.