Chickens running around on I-5 after semi crashed through barrier, blocking several lanes

A tractor-trailer hauling live chickens crashed on Interstate 5 in Olympia early Monday, blocking several lanes in both directions.

The semi was traveling north when it lost control about 4 a.m. near the exit to U.S. 101 and struck the jersey barrier, knocking down a street light.

The driver was not injured.

Three southbound lanes and two northbound lanes were blocked as troopers investigated the crash and crews cleaned up the scene.

The crash caused additional backups on the morning commute, which was already slow moving because of the ice and snow on the roads.

It was not immediately clear how many of the chickens were captured and how many escaped. Many of them were reported to be running around the roadway, but some also died as a result of the crash and had to be pushed off the road toward the jersey barrier.

The truck was big enough to haul hundreds of chickens, Trooper Johnna Batiste said.

Batiste said the driver of the truck was cited for an alleged left-lane violation and negligent driving for driving too fast for weather conditions.

Truck drivers are subject to more stringent rules when it comes to driving in the left lane, she said. They are allowed to pass in the left lane, but once they make their pass, they need to get out of that lane, Batiste said.

Olympian reporter Rolf Boone contributed to this report.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.