MALABAR, Fla. — Two sandhill cranes were struck and killed by a car in south Brevard County. The driver didn't stop. There is a silver lining though: another driver did stop and made all the difference in another bird's fate.

  • Brevard man helps rescue baby sandhill crane
  • Members of Malabar fire dept. helped watch after the bird
  • Rescue group eventually picked the baby bird up

Charles Merrill was running errands Wednesday when he saw the birds get hit.

"The birds tumbled through the air and succumbed to their injuries on the side of the road," Merrill told Spectrum News.

It was tragic enough, but things were about to get worse — Merrill saw a baby crane near where its parents had just died.

"(It) was squawking, obviously distressed. Physically it looked okay, kind of went underneath the fence here," he described.

That fence is on the property of the Malabar Volunteer Fire Department. The birds were struck at agency’s front entrance.

"Shout out to the rescue guys. They were able to capture the bird, and we put it in a box," Merrill said.

Lt. Kevin Riley, firetruck driver Chris Smith, and firefighter Bryce Nachreiner helped save the day, and Merrill called Wild Florida Rescue to come get the bird.

The group took the baby to a south Florida wildlife expert who specializes in taking in baby birds.

Through the experience, Merrill just hopes people are responsible and stop if their car strikes any wildlife.

"Have an awareness of what you have done, and take care of what you need to take care of," Merrill said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says as the sandhill crane population increases in urban areas, road deaths will continue.