5 donkeys struck and killed on 215 Freeway in Riverside County

Five donkeys were struck and killed on the 215 Freeway in Riverside County early Tuesday.

Five donkeys were struck and killed by vehicles when they walked onto a freeway in Riverside County early Tuesday morning.

Callers began reporting a herd of animals entering the 215 Freeway around 2:23 a.m., the California Highway Patrol said in a statement.

CHP units were on their way when it was reported that a cement truck had struck two donkeys and two other vehicles had also struck some of the animals.

One of the drivers complained of pain after the collision and was taken to a hospital, authorities said. The freeway was closed for several hours as CHP and other authorities worked to clear the scene.

Video from the scene showed two cars with their windshields smashed and their front ends heavily damaged, along with several animal carcasses on the side of the freeway.

Wild burros live in the region, where they serve as a source of wildfire prevention, eating weeds that could serve as fuel for flames, according to Amber Levonne Koko, cofounder of the animal rescue nonprofit DonkeyLand.