A truck carrying more than 5,000 live chickens overturned in downtown Salem, dumping the birds onto new cars at a Honda dealership Tuesday morning.
Kurston Ross, who works at the Honda dealership, said he heard a loud crash around 8 a.m. near the corner of Commercial and Division streets.
"I peeked my head out and I see chicken crates falling off a truck onto some of the lot cars here," Ross said.
Ross ran to help while he dialed 911. Meanwhile, witnesses pulled the driver out of the truck's cab, he said.
Salem police said the driver, Patricia Aguilar, 41, of Kelso, was hauling the load of 5,400 chickens from rural Polk County to Kelso for Signature Trucking Co. Investigators said she was driving too fast for the load conditions on the truck.
The truck and trailers flipped onto their side as the truck took a sweeping left-hand turn onto Commercial Street. A traffic control pole was severed and several vehicles were damaged in the adjacent car lot.
Aguilar was taken to the hospital, but her injuries were thought to be minor. A "considerable number" of the chickens were killed in the crash and resulting cleanup, according to police.
The crash closed northbound Commercial Street between Union and Belmont streets for nearly six hours and remains under investigation.