WEST PENN TOWNSHIP -- Thomas Rogal is a PennDOT maintenance manager in Schuylkill County. He was on his way to work Tuesday morning when he spotted something dark in the middle of Route 443 near Tamaqua.
He looked closer and saw it was a bald eagle.
It was alive but injured.
Rogal says he parked his car, put on a flashing yellow light, lit some flares, and stood protecting the bird while emergency workers were called. A co-worker joined him, too.
"We proceeded to basically flag traffic around this eagle laying in the middle of the roadway,” said Rogal.
Soon, two police cars with flashing lights were there. And then, animal rescue came.
"We had people slowing down. People taking pictures, pulling over in their vehicles. A few took pictures. One gave us the towel to put over the eagle's head so we could put it in the crate safely and not get hurt ourselves," Rogal said. "It was impressive that people took the time, slowed down, reacted the way they should."
The injured eagle was eventually taken to the Carbon County Environmental Education Center where workers say unfortunately, it was so badly injured, it had to be euthanized.
Thomas Rogal says he doesn't like how this story ended, but he says he's grateful he did all he could to help.
"It's a symbol of America. It's a gorgeous bird that very few people probably have had the opportunity to see. Fortunately, they seem to have been on the upswing in the area. It's still kind of a rare sight in Pennsylvania to see a bald eagle in the middle of summer," Rogal added. "It's a sad end to the story, but you know, I think we did the right thing. We'd do it again if we had to."