By Nathan Pilling
XENIA — Hundreds of piglets were left wandering near and on a Greene County roadway after the tractor-trailer hauling them crashed Monday evening.
When the driver of the truck, which was hauling about 2,200 piglets, lost control of the vehicle at about 7 p.m., it slammed into a guardrail on the westbound lane of the U.S. Route 35 bypass near the edge of Xenia. The trailer slid into a ravine on the other side of the rail, throwing some of the animals clear and freeing hundreds of others.
“It’s a familiar area to us,” Xenia Towship Fire Department Deputy Chief Greg Beegle said. “We have many accidents in that area due to the nature of the traffic congested down from two lanes to one lane and the sharpness of that curve coming around.”
According to Beegle, one passenger in the vehicle was transported to an area hospital for minor injuries. Only the one vehicle was involved in the incident.
Law enforcement officers, emergency response crews and volunteers worked to clear the wreckage from the incident as well as to corral hundreds of piglets throughout Monday night into early Tuesday morning. The roadway was reopened at 3 a.m. after being closed for about eight hours, according to Beegle.
Local farmers volunteered to help crews with the efforts and transported about 1,100 of the swine to the Greene County Fairgrounds for temporary storage, according to Beegle. The rest of the animals were either killed or have yet to be captured.
“One thing I’d like to express is appreciation for the community support,” he said. “Andy Bledsoe, he’s a Caesarscreek Township Trustee, he organized … the response from the farming community. We made a telephone call to him, and we had agricultural trailers there within 30 minutes.”
The animals were stored at the fairgrounds until a shipping company picked them up early Tuesday morning.
Squeals from some of the animals could still be heard near the scene Tuesday morning as sheriff’s deputies worked to capture them. Those seeing any of the animals still free should contact the Greene County Sheriff’s Office at 937-376-5111.