NH driver fined for stopping in median to rescue ducks
NEWFIELDS, N.H. (WGME) -- A New Hampshire woman is facing a fine from police after she rescued ducklings from the median of a busy highway.
Last Friday, Hallie Bibeau was heading east on Route 101 near Newfields, when a car ahead swerved and she was forced to slam on her brakes.
That's when she saw eight ducklings crossing into her lane.
"It was a hard situation to witness and move on from and I wish I could have done more," she said.
Bibeau pulled off into the median and called 911.
She saw the mother duck had been killed and as a new mother herself, maternal instinct kicked in.
She could only sit and watch for so long.
"I grabbed what I had in the car, which was a plastic bag, and went out in the median and was able to catch two of them," she said.
That's when an ambulance on its way to another incident stopped to make sure she was okay, and a state trooper wasn't far behind.
"He came to my passenger side window and asked for my license and asked what I was doing there," said Bibeau. "I explained the situation again, kind of expecting a different response from the one that I got."
It was a $44.00 fine.
"We save our medians for true emergency stops," said Lt. Nicole Armaganian, spokesperson for the New Hampshire State Police.
"I know I don't see what they encounter every day, but that was my little personal emergency and I would hope more people would do what I did and not just continue down the road and turn a blind eye to the situation," said Bibeau.
She took the ducklings to the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, where one died and the other is still recovering.
Armaganian said she empathizes with Bibeau, but authorities are the only people who should be rescuing animals on roadways.
"We have the emergency equipment, the blue lights," she said. "To have none of that is really putting yourself and everyone else in danger unnecessarily."
In 2010, a Canadian woman caused a deadly accident when she stopped her car to help ducklings in the median. She now faces the possibility of life in prison.
Bibeau said she's thinking about fighting the fine. But its really not about the money. She said it was all worth it to save even one life.