Workers clean up the chickens after the morning crash on I-59 in Alabama. Photo by Kimberly Barbour/WRCBtv.com
Chickens line the roadway after the morning crash on I-59 in Alabama. Photo by Kimberly Barbour/WRCBtv.com
VALLEY HEAD, AL (WRCB) - Interstate 59 North is re-opened after several hours of clearing chickens off the road. A truck transporting chickens for Koch Foods wrecked onto its side just over the Georgia - Alabama border. It happened around 6:30 a.m. Monday in Dekalb County, Alabama.
Alabama State Troopers say the cause of the wreck is unknown at this time. The truck's driver is ok. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but thousands of chickens on board weren't so lucky.
An 18-wheeler on its side and scattered chickens kept I-59 in Dekalb County, Alabama closed for several miles most of the day following the morning crash just north of Valley Head.
"It was chickens everywhere. Kind of wasn't expecting that in the middle of the highway," driver Curtis Bradley said.
The accident threw chickens all over the road and grassy median.
Officials with Koch Foods out of Chattanooga say they're not sure how many chickens were onboard, but say it's definitely in the thousands. Of those, around half died. The other half, crews put back in their crates.
Officers rerouted drivers to Highway 11, getting the Ishee family's vacation to the Smokies off to a slow, wet and smelly start.
"We didn't know why it was closed, but it's kind of the old joke-- why did the chicken cross the road," driver Andrew Ishee said.
"Got some more people stopping in than we usually do," Hammondville Quick Stop owner Shane Goggans said.
The scene was all the buzz at the nearby Hammondville Quick Stop.
"Just coming in checking about the interstate being blocked and dead chickens everywhere," Goggans said.
Most people disturbed not only by the sight of so many dead chickens, but also the stench in the air.
"They do make a little aroma," Ishee said.
It took dozens of workers to separate the living from the dead and several wrecker crews to get the truck flipped back over to be towed.
"That one right there, it was probably the most severe I've seen cause there were chickens everywhere," Bradley said.
On-lookers say they're just glad to hear the driver is ok.
"I feel sorry for the guy driving the truck," Ishee said.
"It makes me just know you have to be aware of surroundings, especially with this rain," Bradley said.
This is the second chicken truck accident in our area recently. A little more than a month ago in Ellijay, Georgia, a tractor-trailer transporting more than a thousand chickens to a processing plant skidded on an ice-covered bridge-- killing most of its chickens.
Again, investigators aren't saying if the rain played a role in Monday's accident on I-59.