A truckload of pigs overturned in British Columbia’s Southern Interior early Friday, killing some, while the survivors had to fend for themselves until the afternoon.
The 1 a.m. accident took place on Highway 3, approximately 10 minutes east of Keremeos. Police say they were on scene until 9 a.m., and that three pigs had to be immediately euthanized.
It’s not known how many pigs died, but RCMP say there were 239 pigs on the transport, more than 80 pigs on three levels inside the trailer.
While dozens of pigs which survived were placed in a nearby field, at least six pigs could be seen lying very still in the second storey of the trailer. It’s unclear if they were dead.
Numerous pigs that were in the top level of the trailer were seen scattered onto the hill beside the crash scene, some still twitching, others lying piled up and not moving.
Rancher Pat Lawrence owns the land where the crash occurred.
He said police contacted him at 1 a.m., notifying him that a trailer went through his fence and onto his land.
Lawrence told Global News that he spent the entire day corralling pigs, and that he had to put a few down because they were injured.
Another witness to the scene who contacted Global News said there were dead pigs on site.
Police added that the company involved in transporting the pigs was made aware of the accident.
Police also said that an officer herded the pigs to a nearby field, though a Global News cameraman noticed pigs still in the trailer in the afternoon. Police added that it was possible that some pigs were unmovable or returned to the trailer.
The accident scene was handed over to flaggers at 9 a.m., according to Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
Reports say the semi-trailer carrying the pigs was passed by another vehicle on a double-solid line near a sharp corner, which then veered back and cut off the semi-trailer.
The semi-trailer moved right, but the trailer caught the shoulder and rolled onto its side, breaking away from the tractor cab. The driver was not injured.
RCMP continue to investigate the crash.
Around 3:30 p.m., the surviving pigs were being loaded into another truck.
The truck originated from Taber, Alta., and was en route to a slaughterhouse in Chilliwack, B.C.
Global News has reached out to the B.C. SPCA for comment on whether they were contacted about the condition of the animals, but they did not return our phone calls.