Local News

Tractor-trailer carrying pigs overturns on I-95 near Fayetteville

Posted August 7, 2013

— Traffic on part of Interstate 95 near Fayetteville was halted for more than four hours Wednesday morning after a tractor-trailer carrying more than 180 pigs overturned near the Interstate 295 interchange.

Ronnie Copeland, who was driving the truck around 8:30 a.m., said he swerved to avoid a car traveling in the wrong direction on the ramp, lost control of his rig, causing it to flip onto its side.

The other vehicle, Copeland said, kept going, and investigators with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said they don’t have evidence of any other vehicle involved. They could not confirm Copeland's account, saying only that the truck's load shifted.

Copeland, 49, of Clinton, said he was transporting the livestock from a Prestage Farms hog house in Newton Grove to a packing plant in Bladen County.

Animal control officers and workers from Prestage Farms loaded the surviving pigs onto another tractor-trailer following the wreck.

Copeland, who works for Davis Trucking Company, of Wallace, said many of the hogs did not survive.

There were no injuries in the wreck, and authorities have not said whether they plan to charge Copeland.


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  • fishon Aug 9, 2013

    Generally, pigs are actually smarter than dogs...which is something that caring humans may think about.

    Those pigs would not have been born and fed and watered for months if not for their food value.

  • Skywatch_NC Aug 8, 2013

    Its a myth in part that slaughterhouses and factory farms are humane in their killing/processing of livestock ...humanely is not always true.

  • Scubagirl Aug 7, 2013

    "yes, their poor little lives were cut short 20 minutes before they got to the packing plant! Kaitlyn"

    At least I thought about them early on BEFORE details were in. Their deaths were NOT as humane as they would have been.

  • Scubagirl Aug 7, 2013

    I HOPE that they donated the meat from the killed hogs to something worthy, would be a waste if they just buried them.

  • NC Tech Aug 7, 2013

    I saw the wreck happen on may way to Fayetteville this morning. It is very fortunate that no vehicle was right there or they would have been smashed. I can say the sound of the hogs screaming still haunts me. I can't confirm a wrong way driver. There was a work truck with tool box there on the exit/entrance lane ramp, had tandem rear wheels that made me think where did they come from? The truck driver popped up out of the passenger side right away seemed to have no major injuries. It appeared to me the truck was going to fast on that ramp. It is a tight radius and downhill from the overpass. If there was a situation he was going to fast to react IMO. I would guess the engineers will be able to measure the marks and calculate the speed. When the front wheel dug into the pavement it ripped off the lug nuts/bolts they where laying in the roadway.

  • sarahndipity Aug 7, 2013

    I know the pigs were on their way to Smithfield, but at least they would have died humanely there. Imagine how they died here... probably crushed by each other's own weight.

    Mom2two, I agree. There are contradicting stories of why the truck flipped. Merging lanes, or wrong-way driver on a ramp?

  • granville93 Aug 7, 2013

    Were they Eastern Style Pigs or Western Style Pigs ? ?

  • DoingMyBest Aug 7, 2013

    I heard it was a porking lot after the accident.

  • heelsgirl05 Aug 7, 2013

    That was probably one noisy, smelly scene! I wonder how tough the pig meat will be now with after all that adrenaline rushed through their system. That would be sad to miss out on all that bacon and chops :)

  • dontbringdownthemonk Aug 7, 2013

    Live from the scene is Less Nessman reporting what is sure to be a Silver Sow Award kind of story.