SALEM -- A tractor-trailer truck with crates of chickens strapped to its bed rolled in downtown Salem Tuesday morning, spilling birds onto the street.

The Signature Transport truck, carrying Foster Farms chickens, was traveling from Polk County to Kelso, Ore. when the driver crashed while trying to turn from Front Street to at Commercial Street just after 8 a.m.

The driver was taken to the hospital but appeared to be in good condition. A couple of cars at a nearby dealership were damaged.

Salem police Lt. Dave Okada said officers made a rough estimate that a thousand chickens were aboard, and some had died. Foster Farms was working to gather the chickens.

The type of truck used was able to carry up to 5,400 chickens at once. It was not known if the truck was fully loaded.

Okada said the police asked the local Humane Society for help in dealing with the chickens and clearing the street.

Officers said the crash was caused either by speed, a shifting load or a combination of both.

Commercial Street Northeast in Salem was closed to traffic in both directions between Division and Market Streets.

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