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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.