Friday, August 8, 2008

Trailer crash leaves M-53 traffic hogtied Loose Trailer

Times Herald (Port Huron, MI)
February 19, 2008

Section: A-Section
Page: 1A

Trailer crash leaves M-53 traffic hogtied
Article Text:By BOBBY AMPEZZAN Times Herald A livestock trailer that came unhitched on M-53 in Marlette Township on Monday let loose about a half-dozen pigs and backed up traffic for miles. Sanilac County sheriff Sgt.

Robert Willis said the accident happened about 1 p.m. near Walker Road and injured a 52-year-old Port Hope woman who slammed her older model Ford Taurus into the trailer. Her injuries are unknown, but she was able to give police a statement about the accident before being taken to Marlette Regional Hospital. One of the pigs died in the accident.

For the others, freedom was short-lived. Their owner, a 32-year-old Deford man, was en route to a game ranch in the northern part of Sanilac County, Willis said. Once the hogs were rounded up, a bystander who happened to have an empty livestock trailer volunteered to take the Deford pigs to the game ranch, a place where animals are hunted in a contained area.

Willis wasn't sure which game ranch the hogs were taken to or how the pigs' owner and the bystander arrived at the agreement. The Deford man told police it was the force of air from a passing tractor-trailer that blew the livestock trailer loose from its hitch.

At that point, the front end of the trailer hit the road, causing it to roll end over end before landing finally on its side and being hit by the Port Hope woman. Another motorist, a 52-year-old Saginaw man, swerved to avoid the trailer and hit a guardrail, but he was uninjured, police said. Willis said the accident and the ensuing hog roundup closed the highway for nearly two hours. "It was kind of a Sanilac County moment," Willis said.

The Deford man will be cited for "failure to maintain equipment/safety chains," Willis said. While the driver argued he had properly secured the livestock trailer with chains to his truck, no such safety chains were found at the scene, Willis said. The accident investigation is continuing. Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor. Contact Bobby Ampezzan at (810) 989-6273 or
Copyright (c) Times Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Gannett Co., Inc. by NewsBank, inc.
Record Number: pth42028750

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