TUSCARAWAS TWP. — The driver of a semitrailer hauling chickens fell asleep Friday morning causing his truck to overturn along eastbound U.S. Route 30 on the Pigeon Run bridge in Ohio.

According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, the man said he fell asleep and when he awoke the truck was veering off the roadway and into the guardrail and embankment.

Crews were called to the scene about 5:30 Friday morning and found the truck cab perched on top of the embankment of a bridge over Pigeon Run Avenue SW. The driver was alert and talking to personnel.

Brewster Fire Capt. Scott Borojevich said the man, who was trapped in the cab of the vehicle, was very lucky. If the truck slid a foot more, it could have plunged over the side, he said.

Firefighters stabilized the truck by tethering it to fire truck while they waited for Reed’s Towing to arrive to further secure it.

After assessing the situation, officials decided they could extricate the driver safely with a ladder. He was able to get out of the cab with help of fire personnel. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

An undetermined number of the slightly more than 8,000 chickens on the truck died in the crash, said Trooper Reggie Taylor of the Highway Patrol’s Canton post.

The majority of the chickens remained in the truck and others that were thrown from the truck huddled together.

Sunpro assisted at the scene to contain diesel fuel from the truck that was running into a culvert below the bridge.

The crash shut down the roadway as well as Pigeon Run Avenue SW for several hours. One lane of U.S. 30 eastbound is now open.

Massillon Police, Ohio Highway Patrol and Stark County Sheriff’s Department were on scene controlling traffic.

North Lawrence Fire Department also assisted at the scene.