Seeing livestock on the freeway is not a regular occurrence on California roadways. However, that’s exactly the sight motorists were treated to early Thursday morning after a fiery Bay Area crash involving a big rig hauling live chickens left a considerable mess on Interstate 80.
Mercury News reports that the crash happened within the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 at approximately 3:45 a.m. when the driver of a big rig coming from Pitman Farms in Fresno lost control of his vehicle near the San Pablo Dam exit ramp.
The vehicle overturned and caught fire, leaving many of the chickens trapped to be burned alive. Other chickens escaped while other birds still in cages were thrown clear from the wreckage.
The California Highway Patrol shut down the roadway while Contra Costa County Animal Services personnel came to the scene to retrieve the birds. According to Contra County Animal Services spokesman, Steve Burdo, at least 200 birds have been impounded. Some of the animals were found dead while others were fine. Others had escaped the scene and were still at large.
The driver in the accident suffered only minor injuries and was taken to an area hospital as a precautionary measure.
The CHP set up a detour around the accident which affected traffic on Interstates 680, 580 and the Richmond Parkway.
The cause of the accident is still currently under investigation.