JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Traffic came to a standstill on I-10 in Jackson County early Tuesday morning after a series of accidents. Authorities said shortly after midnight an accident involving an 18-wheeler happened in the westbound lanes near mile marker 72. That was followed by a six vehicle pileup. In all, seven people were taken to area hospitals.
The cause of each accident is still being investigated. And the cleanup was just as massive as the pileup. Crews took hours to remove vehicles, debris, and poultry from the road and median. Yes, poultry.
"Which was a very bad mess because it is starting to spoil being in this temperature and being out of the container," Trooper Roy Jacobsen said about the spilled chicken. "It was getting very smelly there for a while."
The 40,000 pounds of raw legs, breasts, and thighs came from out of the overturned 18-wheeler. It took hours for these men to transport the boxes poultry from the mangled trailer to a new truck.
"We had to unload the trailer that was damaged from the roof of one of the other trucks colliding with it. Once that happened, they had to manually, by hand, remove the chicken," Jacobsen said.
Once the chicken truck was emptied and other scattered debris was swept off the road, two tow trucks then had the big task of uprighting the 18-wheeler.
Because drivers were only feet away, the Mississippi Highway Patrol team made sure to avoid another accident.
"You have a lot of debris that was falling, so if a vehicle is passing when it happens, it could break off and collide into one of passing vehicles," Jacobsen said.
With one great big pull, the truck was back up in less than 20 minutes to finally clear up the messy scene.
"Small chaos on I-10 of all places," Jacobsen said about the accident.
Because this was such a massive accident, the Mississippi Highway Patrolmen said they will probably have to reconstruct the scene to figure out what happened.
"We have to start interviewing all the occupants and all the drivers of the vehicles, and do an inspection of all the vehicles," Jacobsen said.
The investigation is expected to take several weeks to complete.