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Rash Of Big Rig Wrecks

Six cows were killed and eight more were euthanized after a big rig flipped over on I-26 in Polk County. That was just one of three serious accidents in the mountains Wednesday involving tractor trailers.

Drivers were delayed for hours in Haywood, Buncombe and Polk counties as emergency crews worked to clean up each big mess.

The first accident happened on I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge. A tractor trailer overturned spilling thousands of cans of kidney beans. The Highway Patrol says the truck driver was speeding causing his load to shift. The crash closed the westbound lanes for hours.

Later in the day, an 18-wheeler carrying 77 cows went off the road near mile marker 63 in Polk County. Troopers say when the driver over-corrected, his trailer flipped hitting the guardrail.

In Buncombe County, the westbound lanes on I-40 in Swannanoa were also shutdown. Troopers tell News 13 this 18 wheeler hauling hay was going eastbound near Patton Cove Road when it lost control, smashed through the guardrail, went over the median and flipped in the westbound lanes. The driver was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. He told troopers he was drinking coffee and choked, causing the accident.

None of the drivers' names have been released. Troopers say the truck driver in Haywood County has been charged. It's possible the other two will also face charges.


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