KINGDOM CITY — A shipment of young hogs headed for an Eichelberger Farms facility slid off the road at about noon Wednesday.
The semi came to a stop at a sharp angle after failing to negotiate the turn from Route HH to County Road 230. The squeals from inside the trailer were deafening.
"I don't know what the collateral damage is (but) we're going to have some deceased animals," said Don Lehenbauer, a contractor who works with Eichelberger, at about 2 p.m. Wednesday. "I expect the damage to be minimal, as the trailer wasn't fully loaded."
He said he did not yet have a count of injured and deceased animals, or the total number of animals inside the transport. None escaped from the livestock trailer.
The pigs were in the 50-75 pound range, Lehenbauer said.
At the scene, blood and manure blotted the snow alongside the trailer and trickled from several ventilation holes. Occasional glimpses of pink skin stained red were visible inside the trailer.
The vehicle's driver, a contractor rather than an Eichelberger employee, took an unapproved route toward the old Horstmeier facility, Lehenbauer said.
"I know the driver made a mistake," he added. "We've taken 12 loads to the new (Callaway Farrowing) facility without a mishap since Jan. 3."
Other animal transport vehicles will be taking a safer route, he said.
Vehicles from the Callaway County Sheriff's Office, Missouri Highway Patrol, North Callaway Fire Protection District and Central Callaway Fire Protection District responded to the scene of the accident to monitor traffic and the extraction process.
Two towing vehicles worked in tandem to get the truck and trailer rightened and back on the road. County Road 230 was cleared within 90 minutes of the accident.
"What they did was extraordinary," Lehenbauer said.
Tow truck operator Jordan Toebben, who works for TowPro and Broadway Towing, said it's all in a day's work.
"We do this all day every day," he said after sorting out the rig. "It's our specialty."
The slick conditions made the operation more difficult, Toebben added.