It happened on a flat straightaway along Interstate 15 southbound near Tocquerville, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden. Roden said the marks on the roadway show the semi drifted off the road's shoulder, hit a small embankment and tipped onto its side.
The driver told investigators that a black PT Cruiser cut him off, but there were no witnesses to verify that claim. Officers are still working on the case, but Roden said they likely will issue the semi driver a citation unless they can verify his claim.
The semi driver sustained minor shoulder injuries when responders were trying to pull him out of his vehicle and was taken to a St. George hospital, where he was checked and released, Roden said.
The man is employed by TCI, a company out of Las Vegas. The pigs were being transported from Circle Four Farms in Milford - which raises and markets 1.2 million hogs per year - to a processing plant in St. George.
The tractor-trailer was towed with the 72 surviving pigs to St. George, where they were processed. The 78 pigs killed in the accident were disposed of.
A similar accident in the area a month and a half ago killed 160 pigs.
- Steve Gehrke