When a tractor-trailer accident causes a truck to overturn, those hurt can include more than just fellow travelers. On December 11, a truck loaded with turkeys turned over on Interstate 81, killing nearly all of the animals.

The commercial vehicle accident occurred in Botetourt County, Virginia, just after 5:30 a.m. The truck was carrying turkeys to be processed in Harrisonburg; there were about 900 of the holiday birds on board.

The driver was not hurt, although state police had to re-route traffic and close northbound lanes of I-81 while officials cleared the area.

In addition to turkeys, other unusual roadway items have spilled onto area highways this year. Earlier in December, a similar early-morning accident saw a pineapple truck overturn on the Beltway, while in July, a beer truck flipped over in Interstate 270 in Maryland.

In that semi-truck accident, the truck hit a guardrail and roadside barriers, delaying traffic for several hours and requiring intensive cleanup efforts.

Commercial vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, are frequently filled with items or goods that can come spewing forth in the event of a turnover or other type of accident.

When this occurs, other motorists face the double the danger. First, they may be struck by the truck itself, and secondly, they can be injured by the chaotic mess of objects spilling from a truck.

Drivers who are injured in these types of frightening accidents may initially be thankful to emerge alive, but may soon be dealing with lost wages, medical bills, car repair bills, and even emotional trauma.

In addition, the disorderly accident scene may cause some drivers to get lost in the shuffle, as responders busy themselves with the immediate concern of cleanup.

Even if one is not seriously injured, or injured right away to any degree, it is important to determine any next steps.

Source: NBC 4 Washington, “Turkey truck overturns on I-81 in Virginia.” Dec. 11, 2012.