Truck Full of Chickens Overturns; Lanes Closure On I-80 Westbound

September 5, 2019
Caged chickens at San Pablo Dam Road Westbound I-80 truck wreck scene (Photo credit: KCBS Radio)

(Photo credit: KCBS Radio)

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SAN PABLO (KCBS Radio) -- A predawn truck crash led to a firefighting effort, a massive cleanup job, and an animal-rescue operation along Interstate 80 on Thursday morning.

The big rig carrying  as many as a thousand live chickens in cages overturned at the San Pablo Dam Road overcrossing , forcing the closure of all westbound lanes of I-80.

California Highway Patrol officers, firefighters, and Caltrans workers soon found themselves scrambling into the roadside underbrush, collecting escaped chickens. Other birds could be heard squawking from overturned cages. Hundreds of birds were killed in the crash and ensuing fire, though a local fire official at the scene estimated more than 75 percent of the chickens survived.

Though the cab of the big rig was demolished, the driver escaped with only minior injuries.

CHP officers at the scene said they received the initial call regarding the crash at 2:35 AM. An initial investigation suggested the truck had swerved to the right while traveling westbound on I-80, clipping an overpass abutment before swerving back to the left and crashing into the median barrier.

- Jeffrey Schaub, KCBS Radio contributed reporting.