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I-45 Closed After Semi Carrying Hogs Crashes, Catches Fire

WILMER (CBSDFW.COM) - An 18-wheeler carrying a load of pigs crashed during rush hour early Thursday morning on Interstate-45, closing the roadway in both directions.

The crash involved two 18-wheelers and a car. One big rig crashed into the center median on the highway around 6:30 a.m., turning on it's side and bursting into flames. The driver of that semi was able to get out before the fire and wasn't injured. No one in the other 18-wheeler or the car was injured.

This morning Lieutenant Eric Pon, with the Wilmer Police Department, said they're were still trying to figure out what caused the accident, but that they had to deal with hundreds of animals. "We had a total of 195 [on the semi]. We do not know how many dead-loss or how many ran off," he said.

I-45 pigs 3
(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

At one point the pigs were all over the road. "We've had 'em stretched for about three to four miles down the freeway and believe we've got most of them corralled now," Pon said adding, "The biggest challenge we've had so far was just corraling the pigs, keeping 'em from getting into oncoming traffic and getting run over -- but I do believe we've got all of them."

Wilmer police asked for help from the Dallas County Sheriff's Department livestock unit. A hazardous materials crew was also called to handle the injured and dead animals.

Pon said, "We're waiting on another trailer to come in, from the same company, and then they're gonna try to corral them from the one trailer and transport them to the next trailer." The highway was closed for hours, opening just before the lunch hour.

Click here to get the latest information on traffic in the area. 

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent CBS11 the following statement: For proof that pigs are intelligent animals who value their lives just as we do, look no further than these pigs and then realize that deciding to eat them supports a harrowing journey to slaughter, crash or no crash. PETA is calling for their bid for freedom—as they ran down the interstate—to be honored by sending them to a sanctuary, not a slaughterhouse. And we appeal to all human beings—called "long pigs" by cannibals—to go vegan.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to eat"—notes that before pigs are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughterhouses, they suffer immensely on industrialized meat farms. Sows are squeezed into narrow metal stalls barely larger than their bodies and kept almost constantly pregnant or nursing. Pigs' tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—all without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they are hung upside down and bled to death, often while still conscious.


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