Accident spills chickens onto I-80 in Vacaville

October 20, 2011 12:11:06 PM PDT
A crash involving a flatbed truck hauling crates of live chickens and a big-rig carrying bottled water shut down westbound Interstate Highway 80 in Vacaville early this morning.

Gustavo Carranza Huerta, 26, was driving a 2000 Freightliner owned by Toby's Trucking in Petaluma on the highway west of Pena Adobe Road when the crash happened around 2 a.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parker said.

Drivers of other big-rigs who witnessed the crash said the truck, which had two trailers of caged chickens, was weaving across the lanes, indicating the driver might have fallen asleep, Parker said.

Some of the drivers tried unsuccessfully to contact Huerta on their radios just before the crash, Parker said.

The rear of Huerta's truck clipped a 2001 Freightliner big-rig hauling Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water that had stopped on the right shoulder because of a mechanical problem, Parker said.

"The truck was well off the road and had just stopped," Parker said. "When the driver exited, he heard a crash."

The water truck driver's name was not available because he was not involved in a moving-vehicle accident, Parker said. He was uninjured.

The crashed caused crates of chickens to spill onto the roadway, Parker said. Only one of the two trailers was fully loaded with chickens, he said.

"A typical full load would contain 5,000 chickens," Parker said. It's unknown how many chickens died in the crash, Parker said.

A Napa couple driving behind the flatbed truck in a 2009 Ford Escape ran into a ditch on the right side of the road when the crash happened, Parker said.

The driver, Anastasia Loban, 79, suffered minor injuries, Parker said.

Lanes on westbound Highway 80 slowly reopened, and the roadway was cleared around 7:45 a.m., Parker said.


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