A trailer carrying sheep and two pregnant cows crashed on a Southern California freeway on Wednesday, snarling traffic for hours while crews worked to rescue the farm animals.
The crash on the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway in Sylmar seriously injured the driver of the pickup truck that was hauling the rig.
Paramedics took the unidentified driver to a hospital in serious condition following the crash, which occurred about 11 a.m. at Hubbard Street, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
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The sheep were unhurt, but one of the cows was in "distress,'' Humphrey said. One cow had to be euthanized. It had a broken leg. A dog was also rescued.
Crews hoisted both cows from the trailer using a large hydraulic boom, an effort that took nearly three hours to complete.
Two freeway lanes were blocked for several hours, creating a major backup. The freeway reopened just before 5 p.m.
Workers from The Gentle Barn arrived with a trailer to assist animal control officers with the rescues.
"We're always anticipating the worst case scenario," said Armando Navarette, one of the rescuers with LA Animal Services. "This is the worst case scenario today."
The cause of the crash was unknown.
John Cádiz Klemack contributed to this report.