CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – A semi truck loaded with more than 5,000 chickens crashed in the Dollars Corner area of Clark County, north of Vancouver, killing many of the birds and sending others running onto the road Monday afternoon.
Hours later, an animal rights activist was in handcuffs after refusing to give up one of the chickens. The woman, Amber Canavan, was cited for obstruction of justice and theft, and released later Monday night.
The crash blocked the right lane of SR 502 near 29th Avenue just after 3 p.m.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn said the driver was trying to make a U-turn and the truck tipped over. There was no estimate on how many of the birds died in the crash.
The driver was not hurt in the crash, but he was cited for an illegal turn, Finn said.
As crews cleaned up the scene and removed chickens from the road and nearby ditch, animal rights activists arrived. Canavan grabbed a live chicken and refused to let it go.
The activists asked authorities to let them keep the chicken and take it to a sanctuary. But Foster Farms, which owned the chickens, would not allow it because the company was liable for the chicken and any health risks that came with it, according to a Clark County sheriff's deputy at the scene.
KGW reached out to Foster Farms for comment. In a statement, the company said, "Employees trained in humane handling assisted authorities in collecting displaced birds," and that Foster Farms "prioritizes the safety and welfare of its flocks."
The activists tried to negotiate the bird's release, but authorities took the bird from Canavan and detained her just after 7 p.m.
"They forcibly took the life we were trying to save from her. We had a home for it, we had a sanctuary that was going to live its life," said Carli Chavez. "They wouldn't release one injured bird that will likely be murdered and not be a profit for them at all."