The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

June 6, 2014

18-wheeler hauling chickens overturns near Oakboro

By Luanne Williams, for the SNAP

Friday, June 6, 2014 — Traffic on N.C. 205 south of Oakboro was rerouted for several hours Friday morning after a southbound 18-wheeler carrying some 3,400 chickens overturned north of Branch Road just after 2 a.m. No one was injured.

“When we got there, the truck was on its side and had lost all the contents from the trailer,” said Shea Morton, assistant chief at Oakboro Fire Department and one of about a dozen firefighters who responded to the call.

“We had a small fuel spill which we contained with kiddie pools,” he said, describing it as fewer than five gallons of diesel fuel.

Although he said some of the crates opened, most of the birds were contained or remained fairly nearby until another truck and personnel arrived to sort and reload them.

Cameron Bruett, a spokesperson from Pilgrim's Pride, to whom the chickens belonged, said late Friday morning that the company was working with M&L Riggers of Monroe, the contract hauler, to determine what happened.

“The most important thing is that no one was injured,” Bruett said.

“We are working to find out the disposition of the birds and working with the contractor, but don’t have any more details.”

He said he did not know how long M&L Riggers had been hauling for the company. A spokesperson at M&L said she could not comment on the accident, as she was awaiting further reports.

The driver of the truck had picked up the chickens from a farm near Denton and was headed toward Union County, early reports indicated. Pilgrim’s Pride has a processing plant in Marshville.

N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper T.Z. Bedgood arrived on the scene at 2:45 a.m. and cleared at 6:45 a.m., but was unavailable at presstime to give information on the cause of the accident or any pending charges.

Morton said the Stanly County Sheriff's Office and fire department personnel worked together to detour traffic onto Buster and Branch roads.

“It’s a very busy road and we have a lot of wrecks there,” Morton said.

Although the speed limit is 55 where the accident occurred, a sign warns motorists that 40 mph is the suggested speed, as the highway curves and has adjoining roads.

Luanne Williams is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.