UPDATE: Charges Filed Against Driver of Tractor Trailer Carrying Turkeys that Overturned on I-81
By Shelley Basinger, Beth Tyree
Botetourt Co., VA - Expect delays on Interstate 81 in Botetourt County after a tractor trailer carrying turkeys overturned.State Police says officers were called to the crash about 4:30 a.m. near mile marker 154. State Police say the tractor trailer hit a disabled vehicle on the right shoulder before overturning.A State Police trooper on the scene said 2,700 turkeys were in the truck.They were going from North Carolina to Harrisonburg.The right northbound lane at the crash scene is still closed as crews wait for a second tractor trailer to arrive and remove the turkeys.VDOT expects the lane closure to be in place until Tuesday afternoon.UPDATE 4:30-----------------Troutville, VA - VDOT now says an accident involving a truck carrying turkeys won't be cleaned up until early evening.It took nearly six hours after the wreck for veterinarians to finally started moving the birds that survived. In all 2,700 turkeys were involved. Chief Animal Control Officer, Kevin Crowder, quickly found himself in the middle of an accident scene guys like him rarely have to deal with. "It wasn't bad. Everything was still gathered around the truck. There were a few stragglers but everything was still around the truck; kind of holding to the truck. It wasn't bad," said Crowder.The biggest problem crews are dealing with is the fact that the tractor trailer flipped over on its side making the recovery of all the turkeys that much more difficult. "Getting the animals out of the truck... turned on the side like that. If you could stand it back up - you can't because it is over the bank - it would be a whole lot easier getting the turkeys out," said Crowder.The truck was en route to a processing plant in Harrisonburg, from North Carolina, when it crashed. The delay in the cleanup was actually caused by a different wreck farther north. That's where veterinarians and a truck sent to get the surviving turkeys got stuck in traffic. State Police say the driver of the truck, Steve Oliver, of South Carolina had minor injuries.A State Police spokesman said Oliver was cited at the scene but was unsure about the exact charge he faces.UPDATE 8:30-----------------Botetourt Co., VA - The driver involved in the early morning turkey truck accident on I-81 in Botetourt County Tuesday has been charged.State Police say 48-year-old Steve Albert Oliver from Pageland South Carolina is charged with reckless driving and may have fallen asleep at the wheel of his rig.Police say both northbound lanes are now open on I-81 - after traffic had been tied up all day Tuesday.But there will be some back up traffic in the area of the crash - they say to use caution.
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