Texas crash leaves penguins shaken - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Texas crash leaves penguins shaken

The crash happened early Tuesday morning outside Marshall, Texas. The crash happened early Tuesday morning outside Marshall, Texas.
Two dozen of the birds were on board the truck. Four of them were killed. Two dozen of the birds were on board the truck. Four of them were killed.
The last survivor was found underneath the wreckage. The last survivor was found underneath the wreckage.

Phil Scott/Eyewitness News

Marshall, Texas - With a sudden jolt, two-dozen tuxedoed travelers were spit out onto a dark east Texas roadside, left to wander among the wreckage after their truck turned over and split open.

Marshall Fire Department Battalion Chief David Dean was surprised by what he found at the scene. He told Eyewitness News, "I've been out on cows that got hit, and livestock trucks that have been involved in accidents. I never expected to see a penguin on the side of the road in north Texas."

The birds were shaken and feisty, one even bit a firefighter, but they calmed down once back with their companions. 

The wreck happened within 6 hours of the penguins' temporary home at Moody Gardens outside of Galveston.

The only home most of them have known, in the Waters building at the Indianapolis Zoo, is undergoing months of renovation.

The long trip to Texas began with a happy red-carpet send-off last Friday. 

The birds were missed. A woman at the Zoo on Tuesday expressed disappointment because she had come to see them. She and other penguin fans will get to ultimately when the birds return along with lots of exotic fish and an octopus named Olivia. They also survived the accident.

There was a bittersweet surprise as the wreckage was lifted off the ground to be towed away. Two penguins were trapped beneath, one dead and one unharmed, able to continue its journey to Galveston and someday, back to Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Zoo officials say the truck flipped after a tire caught the edge of the road and the driver overcorrected. The driver and another zoo staff member suffered bumps and bruises.

As for the penguins, four of the 24 died, including the one trapped under the truck and three others hit in the dark by oncoming cars.

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