Federal and state agencies are now working to find any pigs that survived the crash.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services are at the scene of the crash.
Dead pigs are still scattered throughout the accident scene.
An official with the Greene Co. Sheriffs Office said they’ll be focusing first on finding survivors before cleaning up the dead ones.
Hundreds of piglets who survived a semitrailer crash on U.S. 35 near the bypass were transported to their destination in Indiana on Tuesday, however the Greene County Sheriff’s Office is concerned an undetermined number of them are still stranded in Xenia.
An estimated 2,200 piglets were on a semitrailer traveling west on the U.S. 35 bypass around 7 p.m. on Tuesday when the vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a guardrail, according to a sheriff’s office crash report.
An estimated 1,100 piglets died in the crash. About half survived, however the number of feeder piglets that remain loose in the area is unknown, said Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer.
“The Greene County Sheriff’s Office did everything it could working with volunteers and other law enforcement officers and volunteer firefighters,” said Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer. “Several different people showed up to help. We did everything we could to safely recover as many of the piglets as we could.”
County sheriff’s deputies captured six piglets on Tuesday after receiving phone calls about them roaming around the area. The trucking company, identified as D Rinker Transport LLC in the crash report, said it would not return to the area to pick up the stranded piglets, according to the sheriff.
“We found a home for them temporarily,” Fischer said. “There’s plenty of pig farmers in Greene County.”
The county sheriff’s office plans to turn over the case to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources today.
The semitrailer driver, Terry Alley, a 44-year-old Lafayette, Ind. resident, has been cited with failure to control a motor vehicle — a minor misdemeanor.
According to the crash report, Alley was traveling an estimated 70-80 mph when the semitrailer overturned, killing approximately half of the animals. The speed limit in that area is 55 mph.
An arraignment hearing for Alley has been scheduled for Friday morning in Xenia Municipal Court.
Commercial drivers are subject to all of the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations and rules in terms of tractor trailer design as well as weight limits and hours of service, said Sherrie Webb, the National Pork Board director of animal welfare. There are specific weight limits for the loads regardless of what the semitrailer is hauling, however it can vary by state, she added.
There is also a transport quality assurance program which provides guidance for drivers who specialize in carrying livestock including recommendations on floor space allowance for animals and advice on the number of animals that should fit on a truck.
“Those pigs appear to be a weaning age, so they are smaller and those trucks can hold quite a few of those small pigs and still give them plenty of space on the trailer,” she said.
In addition to space allowance, the guidelines address general handing and movement of animals and advice on traffic delays and crashes.
“We also recommend they have the contact information from where the pigs came from as well as contact information for where the pigs are going so they can communicate to both ends and start working out who’s going to come pick up the pigs or help address what happens to the pigs once they’re collected,” Webb said.