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Have you ever seen the movie Outbreak? It also involved a car accident, a pickup truck, and a bunch of escaped lab monkeys. However, this story with a pickup truck crashing into a dump truck is not made up. It happened sometime on Friday evening while the truck was traveling on a highway in Pennsylvania.

100 monkeys were being trailered by a pickup truck

100 monkeys escaped the pickup truck after an accident
100 monkeys escaped the pickup truck after an accident | TODAY via YouTube

According to a USA Today story, the pickup truck carried monkeys on a trailer while traveling through Pennsylvania. The pickup truck was traveling near an Interstate 80 exit in Montour County when a dump truck hit the pickup truck’s passenger side. The impact tore off the front of the trailer and sent some of the crates flying out.

According to the USA Today article, the pickup truck carrying the monkeys went to get off an exit and then must have realized it was the wrong exit. The driver tried to get back on the interstate, driving across the other lanes when the dump truck must not have seen it. “The driver appeared to be disoriented, and the passenger thought he might have injured his legs, she said.”

When a bystander stopped to check on the pickup truck driver, the couple noticed some monkeys running across the road.

The pickup truck collided with a dump truck after trying to get off the highway

The pickup truck carrying the monkeys was going to a lab, but the driver would not confirm which lab. The 100 cynomolgus monkeys were packed in crates in the back. Trooper Laura Lesher said that the state police secured the scene for the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Right after the car accident, several monkeys escaped the crates and were seen running around the area.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission and the highway patrol set off to find the monkeys, but one was still missing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the group was offering “technical assistance” to the police on the scene. Later on, the CDC confirmed the monkeys were en route to a “CDC-approved quarantine facility” when the pickup truck crashed.

Pennsylvania State Troopers Andrea Pelachick and Lauren Lesher tweeted out about the incident on Friday night. The Troopers asked that people not approach the monkeys if one was spotted. Instead, people should call 911.

Godspeed, monkeys


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News crews noticed a helicopter overhead looking for the monkeys. As of Sunday morning, a spokesperson for the CDC said that Troopers captured the last monkey on its way to freedom. That’s what the people thought had happened in Outbreak, too. The CDC did confirm that all 100 of the monkeys were accounted for after the accident. There is no news about the pickup truck driver and his passenger, though it can be assumed he is on his way to a movie theatre with a monkey in his bag.