Woman injured by turkey thrown through her windshield 15 years ago has died

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A Lake Ronkonkoma woman who made national headlines when she was hit by a turkey that was tossed through her windshield has died.

Victoria Ruvolo made headlines when she publicly forgave the teenager who threw a 20-pound turkey through her windshield in 2004, which broke every bone in her face.

Friends and family are now mourning the loss of Ruvolo, who died suddenly at 59 years old.

Ruvolo spent weeks in a medically induced coma after her face was shattered by the turkey. She underwent months of rehabilitation.

Doctors told her it was a miracle she was alive. Ruvolo then asked a judge to grant leniency for her attacker, 17-year-old Ryan Cushing, who faced 25 years in prison.

The judge agreed and gave the teen just six months in jail followed by five years of probation.

"When you hold in that vengeance and that anger and the bitterness, the only person you're hurting is yourself," Ruvolo told News 12.

Ruvolo spent the rest of her life giving motivational speeches on forgiveness to inmates and troubled children, including those at the SunShine Center in Port Jefferson Station.

Carol Carter, a friend of Ruvolo, says her message of forgiveness will live on in the countless lives she touched.

Ruvolo's cause of death is unknown. Private services for her are being held Wednesday and Thursday.

The SunShine Center plans to hold a memorial for her in the near future.


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