Big rigs collide: Frozen chicken scorched, bees flying ‘everywhere’

Cal Fire crews responded to a collision involving two semi trucks on the westbound 10 Freeway near Coachella on Monday. One truck spilled thousands of pounds of frozen chicken and the other lost thousands of the bees it carried.
(Colin Atagi / Associated Press)

Two semis – one carrying frozen chicken, the other hauling crates of bees – collided on the 10 Freeway in Coachella on Monday and caught fire, creating all kinds of complications for commuters.

“Some of the bee crates have broken open and bees everywhere,” an entry in the California Highway Patrol’s incident log says.

The crash occurred on the westbound 10 just after 7 a.m. near the Dillon Road exit in Coachella, CHP officials said. When the big rigs collided, the one carrying chicken burst into flames, scorching its poultry cargo.

CHP logs show the other vehicle’s tires caught fire and the bees were released, forcing authorities to reroute drivers around the crash. The CHP doesn’t have special equipment to gather the bees, but officials said the smoke from the fire kept the bees relatively calm. A beekeeper from Bakersfield was en route and expected to arrive around noon, according to the logs.


One driver suffered cuts to his face; the other driver was uninjured, authorities said.

The crash caused traffic to be jammed for miles for much of the day. The CHP reopened two westbound lanes before 1:30 p.m., officials said.

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