CASEYVILLE, Ill. (KMOV-TV) -- An overturned semi hauling a load of cattle flipped onto its side early Monday morning causing a traffic back-up for drivers.
The tractor-trailer accident happened about 1:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Interstate 64 near the Interstate 255 exit in Caseyville, Illinois. An Illinois State Police officer on the scene said the driver was taken away by ambulance but appeared to be okay.
Police say the driver told them his rig lurched to the right, hit the concrete median wall and then flipped onto its side.
Three of the cattle on the truck got out of the trailer after the accident. Officials said the cattle had to be shot by police before they could get back onto the interstate and cause any other accidents. The speed limit is 65 miles an hour on the interstate. The Caseyville Fire Chief says the cattle weigh between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds and that combination could do some serious damage.
Traffic heading westbound on Interstate 64 was being diverted onto the outer lanes and then could re-enter the interstate after it had passed the accident scene. The bottleneck conditions at the scene led to a traffic slowdown and back-up for commuters.
Authorities report that the semi was transporting 65 head of cattle. Workers used a cattle prod to move the cattle from one trailer to the other. While transferring the cattle, one cow was able to break loose and run across the interstate. That cow was later chased off the highway and shot.
Crews have cleared the scene and all lanes have reopened.