A 72-year-old Myrtle Beach man was charged after police said he ran over a duck and her ducklings on purpose with his BMW.
According to a police report, Robert Allen Willard tried to run over and killed a female mallard duck and several ducklings as they followed behind her on June 2 at the Myrtle Wood Villas near 48th Avenue North.
Witnesses told police all traffic was stopped at the time to allow the ducks to cross the road when Willard sped up his convertible sports car to hit the waterfowl.
Paula Rock works at the Myrtle Wood Villas and ran outside right after it happened.
"When I came out here, the majority of the babies were over by the dirt road," Rock described. "The mother and the baby were basically across from this tree on the other side of the road," she said.
Rock said she and her staff were outraged, but determined to save the five remaining ducklings.
"I went back, grabbed an empty box with some hand towels and ran outside," Rock said.
Rock called "The Snake Chaser," who came and picked up the ducks. He transported the ducks to an animal rehabilitation center in Conway, where the two day old ducklings got a new start on life.
Elizabeth Alfieri and her husband Ken took the ducks in, along with many other animals they help rehab. They call the rehab center "IMA," The Island of Misfit Animals.
Alfieri said the ducklings will have a long way to go before they're ready to be on their own.
"These guys lost their mother immediately, so we're working on teaching them to swim. We're out here doing everything we can to save them and get them back to the wild and raise them, and it's just awful," she explained.
Alfieri said there's only one good thing that came out of this incident: public awareness.
"If this can bring more awareness to more people that they need to take care of what's around them and their surroundings and the things they share with the world. That's huge," Alfieri said.
She said until people learn to look out for and protect the animals, she'll keep them in good hands.
"It's what I do, it's what I live for. They need me," Alfieri said.
If you'd like to help the ducklings or any other animals at IMA, contact Elizabeth at (843) 365-8555.
Willard was not arrested, but was issued a ticket for animal cruelty. News13 reached out to Willard for comment, but never got any response.