Tractor trailer loaded with honey bees crashes in Virginia; bee handler and son rescue bees

Published: May. 3, 2018 at 8:32 AM EDT
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A tractor trailer filled with honey bees crashed on Interstate 495 in Fairfax County Wednesday afternoon.

According to a post on the Virginia State Police's Facebook page, police responded to a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 495 Wednesday around 4 p.m. Police say the first accident involved two vehicles with a minor fender-bender, but as those vehicles were trying to move out of the travel lanes and into the shoulder, a tractor trailer hit the vehicles.

When Trooper Lanfranchi and medical personnel assessed the scene, they were suddenly swarmed by bees, Virginia State Police said. They then learned that the tractor trailer was loaded with pallets of honey bees and the crash caused one of the pallets to break allowing the bees to escape.

As police were still investigating, an elderly man and his son stopped to help. Both of the men happened to be experienced bee handlers. The two bee handlers suited up, inspected the trailer, and helped to secure most of the bees that had escaped.

According to Virginia State Police, the driver of the tractor trailer, a 56-year-old man from Missouri, was found unresponsive in his cab because of a medical emergency and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Police said the driver is expected to make full recovery.

Police said a small dog was also found on the scene of the accident. Police discovered that the dog belonged to the driver of the tractor trailer. Trooper Lanfranchi was able to place the dog safely in his car. Police said because it took a while to clear the scene, Trooper Lanfranchi even took the dog for a walk with an improvised leash he found in his patrol car, as you can see in the tweet below.

According to Virginia State Police, neither driver in the original crash was hurt.

Traffic Crash has I-495 in Fairfax County All Abuzz... On Wednesday afternoon in Northern Virginia, VSP Trooper C....

Posted by Virginia State Police on Wednesday, May 2, 2018