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Cattle truck flips on I-40 in Winston-Salem, killing about half the herd

Reopening I-40 eastbound lanes near exit 195 have now reopened. The driver says he swerved to avoid hitting a family of deer.

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — A livestock truck flipped on I-40 east near exit 195 in Winston-Salem just before 4 a.m. Tuesday, shutting down all eastbound lanes. It took crews nearly 10 hours to clear the highway. Eastbound lanes reopened around 2:15 p.m., WFMY's Adaure Achumba reported.

The truck was on its way to a slaughterhouse in Asheboro from Kentucky. There were 41 cattle on the trailer when it crashed. Our Adaure Achumba spoke to the driver who said about half the cows did not survive. 

The driver told us he saw a family of deer crossing the interstate and he swerved to avoid them. The driver said he overcorrected, and the weight of the cattle pulled the truck down.

 "There was about six deer, three mamas, and three babies, they jumped the concrete barrier and I swerved to miss them and because of the leanness of the road, the cattle got off balance and I overcorrected and it flipped over and I had a wreck," said Scottie Ford of Glasgow Kentucky.

August Vernon with Forsyth County Emergency Services says crews needed to clear the truck from scene and powerwash/disinfect the area. Vernon says the dead animals will be taken to a landfill and disposed of accordingly while surviving animals will be taken to a vet to be checked out as required before being handed over to the packinghouse.

Troopers charged the driver with failure to maintain lane and have yet to confirm the driver's account that wildlife caused the crash.  

Stick with WFMY News 2 for more information on this developing story. 

11:52 a.m. - Projected 12:00 p.m. reopening unlikely

2:17 p.m. - I-40 Eastbound lanes reopen

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