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June 18, 2014

Truck carrying hogs flips on US-25

Road closed seven hours for cleanup, animal corralling

CORBIN — By Kristina Smith / Staff Writer

First responders across Laurel County listened to the squeal of hogs early Tuesday more than the squeal of their own sirens.

A tractor-tailer hauling the hogs tipped over after it was forced to stop abruptly around 7 a.m. Its driver, Korben Kavanagh, 28, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, sustained only minor injuries from the wreck and spent the next several hours helping with the process of corralling the hogs.

Kavanagh said he was traveling south on US-25 when a car in front of him stopped suddenly to make a turn, but failed to use a turn signal. Kavanagh attempted to ride the shoulder of the road in an attempt to avoid hitting the car.

“I tried to navigate the shoulder but it was a further drop than I expected,” Kavanagh said.

At that point his truck and trailer belonging to Sideways Livestock flipped to its side and a few of the hogs he was transporting escaped.

Responders from the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, Lily Fire Department, London-Laurel Fire Rescue Squad, West Knox Fire Department, the Laurel Emergency Management Office and Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement convened at the crash site to clean up the wreck and to figure out what to do with the hogs.

The hogs that did escape found a shaded area to sleep in and did not venture out onto the road. However, there was still a trailer full of hogs that had to be emptied before the truck could be tipped back over. The increasingly hot day also continued to be a concern with the hogs trapped in the trailer.

London-Laurel Rescue quickly cut a hole out of the back of the trailer so that the hogs could exit. Two other openings at the bottom of the trailer were opened so that the hogs could step out. Lily Fire Department grabbed a water hose to douse the hogs so that they could have some relief from the high temperatures.

It was all hands on deck as the hogs were chased and herded into other trailers. Hogs ran through the front yards of nearby homes in an attempt to flee.

“I thought for a second there that my job was about to be protecting people from these hogs that were running everywhere,” said KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer Steve Douglas.  Eventually, Douglas and other responders were able to safely lead the hogs into other trailers where they were transported to a nearby herding yard.

Unfortunately though, some hogs were killed in the crash. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture Police saw to the disposal and removal of the dead hogs.

“I’m not sure that there was any other process we could have taken (to deal with the wreck). I believe we did the best we knew how,” said Douglas.

It took officials over seven hours to open the roadway again.  Traffic was flowing smoothly once again around 2:30 p.m., according to Douglas.

Officer Dennis Jackson with the Kentucky State Police continues to investigate the wreck.

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