A police officer crashed his vehicle into a ditch after an owl flew inside and began pecking at his head.

Officer Lance Benjamin of Covington Police Department in Louisiana felt something fly into his vehicle and hit his face while on patrol early Thursday.

At first he thought it was a football. "And then I felt some scratching on the back of my head and some pecking," he told WVUE-TV.

"I tried to keep control of my car, went into a ditch, avoided some trees," Benjamin told CNN. "Finally was able to stop the car, put it in park, get out. And there he was, just chilling out in the car."

Traveling at only 10mph, the officer was able to avoid serious injury. The owl was unharmed, finally making its way out of the vehicle 45 minutes later.

What should Northern Coloradans do in a similar situation?

The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program says that should you encounter a raptor in need to contact the Raptor Emergency phone number at 970-222-0322 (available 24/7) and to take a photo (if possible) to help their staff identify the species.

If the bird is a nighthawk or songbird, contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife Fort Collins (970-472-4300) or Humane Society of Weld County (970-506-9550) (RMRP is not licensed to handle non-raptors).