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What a clucking mess: Alabama sheriff warns against eating foul chicken from highway after truck crash

Ashley Coker

(Photo: Shutterstock)


A truck hauling frozen chicken crashed in rural Alabama last week, spilling tenders onto the highway. The local sheriff’s office had to warn people against stopping to pick-up dinner from the scene of the accident.

The crash happened on Alabama Highway 35 in Cherokee County, near the Georgia state line. It is unclear what caused the accident, but the driver walked away with only minor injuries. The mess, however, posed a challenge for law enforcement.

While emergency officials coordinated efforts to get the chicken cleared off the roadway, passersby saw the spilled load as an opportunity to same some money on this week’s grocery bill.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office eventually stepped in to warn people against blocking traffic to pick-up the chicken, which had been on the ground for over 24 hours at that point. While eating thawed chicken tenders off the highway undoubtedly poses a health threat, it could also pose a legal threat.

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“The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is asking that no one try to stop to get the chicken tenders that were spilled from the 18-wheeler accident last night on Highway 35. You’re creating a traffic hazard! It’s a crime to impede the flow of traffic,” Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency posted on Facebook. “Those cases have been on the ground for over 24 hours and are unsafe to consume. Anyone who is caught could be facing charges.”

The tender spill was not the only chicken-related truck incident this month, though. A truck hauling 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken caught fire in a tunnel under an Atlanta, Georgia airport runway Tuesday morning.

While the crash caused serious traffic delays, no one was injured and flights were not affected, according to traffic authorities WSB Atlanta reported that the driver spotted the fire, pulled over and was able to get out of the truck safely.

The news station reported that there was no structural damage to the roadway or the tunnel, but the truck appeared to be split open after the fire was extinguished. The chicken was visible from the nearby roadway.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Chris Henry

Chris Henry has spent his entire 20-year career in transportation. In 2014, he founded the online motor carrier benchmarking service StakUp. As a result of a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) in 2015, StakUp was rebranded as inGauge and Henry became the program manager for the TCA Profitability Program (TPP), an exclusive benchmarking initiative that includes more than 230 motor carrier participants throughout North America. Since joining the program, participation in TPP has grown over 300%. In June 2019, StakUp was acquired by FreightWaves and Henry became its vice president of carrier profitability, in addition to his role with TPP. Henry earned an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor of commerce degree from Nipissing University.