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Thousands Of Pounds Of Chicken Tenders Spill Onto Alabama Highway After Crash


There was a traffic accident Saturday night on Route 35 in Cherokee County, Ala. An 18-wheeler ran off the road and was badly damaged. Not really the stuff of national news, except for what happened next.


For an eyewitness report, we called the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency.

SHAWN ROGERS: Cherokee County EMA, this is Shawn.

SHAPIRO: Shawn Rogers, director of Emergency Management, was one of the first to arrive on the scene.

ROGERS: The truck overturned, and the load spilled out the top of the truck.

SHAPIRO: And what a cargo load that trailer was carrying.

ROGERS: Chicken fingers that had been prepackaged. They were shrink-wrapped.

SHAPIRO: Frozen chicken fingers, a lot of them.

ROGERS: I mean, it was, you know, tens of thousands of pounds, probably, you know, 40,000 pounds or more.

CORNISH: And word of this 40,000-pound chicken finger bounty spread fast.

ROGERS: There was chicken that had spilled out, and it was on the side of the road. And it was free.

CORNISH: But the chicken was not free for the taking. And Rogers says, even if it was, taking it was not exactly a good idea.

ROGERS: At that point, the chicken had been there for about 24 hours. It was about 65, 70 degrees Sunday during the day. So it was no longer safe.

SHAPIRO: Still, the scene drew a crowd of the curious or hungry or both.

ROGERS: The chicken sitting on the side of road was not a traffic hazard initially. It's the people that was stopping that created the traffic hazard.

SHAPIRO: So Shawn Rogers directed his public information officer to post this on Facebook.

CORNISH: The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is asking that no one try to stop to get the chicken tenders that were spilled from the 18-wheeler accident last night on Highway 35.

SHAPIRO: The highway is now reopened, but Facebook users are still having a field day posting a string of comments that, frankly, we could not improve upon. So here's a sampling.

CORNISH: So the five-second rule doesn't apply to this?

SHAPIRO: That gives new meaning to crash diet.

CORNISH: I guess the chicken didn't cross the road safely.

SHAPIRO: And our favorite, chicken tender fender bender.

CORNISH: Remarkably, Shawn Rogers tells us this is not an isolated incident for Cherokee County.

ROGERS: We have a lot of 18-wheelers overturned here in our county. I mean, we've had anything from live chicken trucks where there's live chickens running around the road all the way to beer trucks, pizza trucks. So it's not uncommon.

SHAPIRO: Sounds like dinner.

CORNISH: (Laughter). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.