Workers are still cleaning up nearly 16 thousand kilos of lobster on Highway 1 outside Saint John after a tractor trailer accident early Friday morning.

A truck driver, his wife and eight-year-old daughter were taken to hospital after the tractor slid on its side into the median, splitting the trailer and spilling its load of live lobsters onto the highway.

The owner of the lobsters, Roy Robichaud, said he spoke to the family and they escaped with minor cuts and bruises, but he said most of his load had spoiled.

"In the middle of the truck, there's a few that are still alive and kicking, so we're going to salvage what we can, but it's another four hours to the plant, so we'll keep the refrigeration unit at 34 degrees, and we'll salvage what we can salvage," said Robichaud.

Robichaud said the truck is a write-off.


The early morning accident reduced traffic to one lane in each direction. (Submitted by Kathryn Asher)

At this point, he said he's not sure what the loss will mean financially. Robichaud said this is the first time he's ever lost his cargo in such an accident.

Crushed shells and claws still littered the median of the highway, hours after the crash happened around 2 a.m.

The lobster broker said when he first arrived, lobsters covered the road.

"I'm not a big baby but the corner of my eyes got kindof damp there," Robichaud said.

Robichaud said the truck had been en route from Maine to be processed north of Tracadie-Sheila, N.B.

Traffic flow around the accident scene has still not returned to normal.

Bob McLean, the owner of Loyalist City Towing, said clearing out all the lobsters will be an all-day job.

"When you open the back doors the lobsters are right there. But the trailer's 53-feet long, so the farther into the trailer you go, the more people you need to do the work," McLean said.

The Saint John Police aren't yet commenting on the cause of the crash.