Morning traffic along I-5 was extra congested Wednesday morning thanks to a semi truck crash that dumped over 40,000 pounds of chicken feathers across the highway. The driver of the truck admitted to falling asleep at the wheel before striking a guardrail and turning his semi over.
The crash occurred shortly before 3:30 a.m. near Federal Way just south of South 320th Street. The overturned semi truck and its spilled chicken feathers, totaling over 40,000 pounds, blocked all four lanes of I-5 for close to four hours. Traffic along I-5 was reported to be backed up for over 17 miles.
Clean up of the feathers took the Washington State Department of Transportation several hours. Workers picked the chicken feathers up by hand along with heavy equipment typically used for agricultural use.
The semi truck driver was not injured in the crash, but the guardrail he struck is now in need of repairs. The driver is likely to be charged with negligent driving, a charge typically given to drivers who fall asleep while operating a vehicle that includes a $550 fine. His employer is reported to be West Coast Reduction which is based out of Vancouver B.C.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson, who responded to the scene, said that the feathers “definitely have an odor.”
Authorities were unsure just what the chicken feathers would be used for. But the pulp of chicken feathers are a known commodity in the production of all sorts of industrial products such as paper, filters, and even plastics used in automobile construction.
One of our traffic engineers did the 🐔math – 40,000 lbs of chicken feathers = ~18 million feathers (they still weigh the same as 40,000 lbs of bricks, however). With ~ 8,000 feathers on a chicken that's almost 2,300 chickens worth of feathers. pic.twitter.com/ukd29bkWKG
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) May 23, 2018
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