Video courtesy of Bailie Hayden
Southbound Interstate 95 lanes were disrupted Wednesday afternoon in Spotsylvania and Caroline counties by loose pigs that wandered into traffic.
It’s not clear how the runaway pigs made it onto the interstate, or if they all made it through the ordeal safely, but two areas were cleared at 1:40 p.m., according to Kelly Hannon, Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
The incident started shortly after 1 p.m. about two miles south of the Thornburg exit, with reports of “pigs running around the interstate,” said Hannon, who was monitoring the situation and tweeting updates.
Diana Madison was heading home to Orange County from Virginia Beach when she came upon the scene. She saw a towel covering an animal and thought someone’s dog might have been hit.
“Then it turned its face and I saw it and said, ‘What the hell? You don’t expect to see a pig,’” she said. “After I saw the first one, I didn’t know if it was a wild hog or if somebody’s pet got loose.”
And these weren’t little potbellied pigs, but hogs every bit as big as what’s showcased at the fair. She guessed they weighed about 400 pounds.
Madison saw four hogs in all and about 10 people giving them aid, including several motorists who had pulled over to help as well as some Animal Control officials. Some people were with the pig on the ground, which looked to be covered with a wet towel. Others had put a leash around one of the hogs to keep it from getting in the road. Another hog looked seriously injured and couldn’t get up, she said, while a fourth had what she described as road rash.
From the back seat, her 2-year-old daughter, Bella, said: “Poor piggy, piggy crying.”
Odder still was that there didn’t appear to be any damaged vehicles, at least in the northbound lane where she was. At that point, most of the traffic backup was in the southbound lanes.
State Police troopers and Spotsylvania Sheriff’s deputies handled the situation, which led to lane and shoulder closures at two spots south of the Thornburg exit.
While police tried to clear the scenes, traffic backups extended at least two miles.
About a half-hour later, both locations had been reopened.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
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