SALT LAKE CITY — A woman and dozens of pigs died Thursday night after a livestock semitruck crossed the I-15 median and struck a vehicle, pushing it into a 100-foot ravine, officials said.
The semitruck hauling the pigs was southbound on the freeway when it drifted off the left shoulder, drove through the median into the northbound lanes and struck a Kia Optima about 11:30 p.m., Utah Highway Patrol officials said.
Both the Kia and the semitruck drove off the right shoulder, and the Kia landed at the bottom of a 100-foot embankment six miles south of Cove Fort in Beaver County. A rescue team reached the car but found the driver, 41-year-old Jaime Demille, of Cedar City, had died on initial impact with the semitruck.
Investigators are still unsure why the semitruck drifted through the median but are investigating illness and fatigue as possible contributing factors. Both the truck driver and his co-driver were transported to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
About 160 pigs were on board the semitrailer, and many were severely injured or killed in the rollover crash. A few of the animals came away unscathed, officials said.
The right lane of the freeway was closed for over nine hours while crews cleaned up the crash and investigators collected evidence. It has since reopened.