A livestock hauler is expected to get back on the road tonight, but things did not go well Tuesday for the semi-driver and the 225 hogs he was hauling.
The hogs were trapped in a broken-down semi-trailer near North Platte as the temperature soared into the 90s, with the humidity around 40 percent.
Police intervened and discovered that the driver, Stanley M. Frye, 37, of Bristol, Va., was driving on a suspended license.
The hogs were eventually unloaded at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. Frye was cited for cruelty toward livestock as well as driving on a suspended license.
Police officers received a report at 12:45 p.m. that a broken down semi-truck was parked on North River Road, near South Bend Road, a police spokesman said.
Animal Control Officers also went to the scene.
The truck hasd been parked since 9 a.m. and the hogs were in "various states of distress," the police spokesman said.
Frye told police he picked up the hogs around 11:30 p.m. Monday from a broker in Iowa and was headed to California to unload.
Frye told police that the semi had mechanical problems, forcing him and a passenger to stop and try to repair the truck.
They were waiting on parts.
Due to the lack of air, breeze and water, a North Platte Fire Department crew arrived and attempted to cool the animals with water.
Pigs do not have adequate sweat glands to cool themselves if they are trapped in hot weather. The temperature was nearly 95 at 2 p.m., with very little wind, the police report said.
The parts finally arrived around 2:30 p.m., police said. By then, officers had arrived from three jurisdictions. Police, sheriff and state patrol investigators agreed there was probable cause to arrest Frye for Abandonment or Cruel Neglect to Livestock, a first class misdemeanor. Frye was also cited for driving under suspension and at least one truck violation.
When the semi-truck was finally repaired, the hogs were taken to the Lincoln County Fairgrounds, where they remained Wednesday, police said.
Dr. Rick Keeten of the North Platte Veterinary Clinic and members of the Lincoln County Fair Board helped. One hog died, police said.
Frye's bond was set at $5,000. He paid the required 10 percent Wednesday and was released. The Lincoln County Court issued authorization to release the remaining hogs and set the amount due to city at $1,518 to cover the costs of managing and caring for the hogs.
The hogs will be loaded aboard the truck Wednesday evening when temperatures cool and continue to their destination in Winton, Calif., police spokesman Rodney Brown said.