WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — When a tractor-trailer hauling 41 cattle crashed in Winston-Salem, not all of the animals made it out alive.
That's why the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, plans to put up a billboard in their honor.
The billboard will go up at the crash site, on Interstate 40 near Thomasville Road.
"This incident caused gentle cows to experience a terrifying death on the highway, and those who survived were rounded up and presumably taken to slaughter," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a news release. "PETA's ad encourages anyone disturbed by the thought of animals suffering on the side of the road or facing the slaughterhouse knife to go vegan."
The sign will read, "I'm ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan."
At about 3:20 a.m. on Feb. 18, the tractor-trailer overturned on the highway.
The driver told troopers a deer ran into the road and he lost control.
Highway Patrol confirms the truck was hauling 41 cattle to Kentucky for processing.
The Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management said some of the cattle were injured and euthanized.
Others survived and were moved on to their next destination though it is unclear exactly how many.
Emergency management and a Forsyth County animal rescue team were helping. It took hours before the road could reopen.
"One of our concerns with this is that these animals could be dangerous to humans," said August Vernon of the Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management. "They don't mean to be, but they are scared and injured. A 900-pound cow, if it kicks you or runs into you, that can be an issue, so we have to be very meticulous and safe in what they are doing to try to help the animals."
The driver was not injured.