Lucky the pig lives up to his namesake, survives tumble on Interstate 5


After showcasing her new market pig named Lucky earlier this month at the Spring Youth Fair at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, 10-year-old Zandaea Cole, of Kelso, was riding back home down Interstate 5 with three pigs in tow in a trailer.

Zandaea got Lucky to raise as a market pig and planned to eventually sell him once he made weight at the upcoming Cowlitz County Fair. She was showing him at the Spring Youth Fair to help train him.

“He’s not going to be sold now. Lucky is going to live out his full life,” said Leslie Williamson, of Crooked Creek Swine Farm, where Lucky was born and lives. “... He gets to live the good life from here on out.”   

Williamson’s husband was driving Zandaea and the three pigs in the trailer. After stopping to refuel while on the way back to Crooked Creek Swine Farm, to their horror, they realized at some point the trailer door became unlatched and opened while traveling on I-5.

Lucky was missing.

“My husband was just devastated,” Williamson said. “The door had jiggled open just enough for Lucky to get out. He was the smallest.”

They immediately tried to find him while Williamson and Zandaea’s mother, Jessica Cole, called the non-emergency police number.

Luckily for Lucky, a passing motorist on I-5 had just reported spotting him.

“A retired Lewis County area judge saw him on the fog line, struggling to get up, called 911 and reported an injured pig,” Williamson said.

Living up to his namesake, not only did Lucky manage to survive tumbling down the middle lane of I-5 at around 60 mph, but was able to get off the freeway without being hit by a car around 100 yards north of Exit 57.

Williamson, Jessica and Zandaea all rushed to try to find him, and with the help of the Washington State Patrol and local Castle Rock residents walking their dogs on the frontage road, were able to locate Lucky.

“By the time we got there, about 30 or 40 minutes later, he had gotten himself down over the embankment, just laying there,” Jessica said. “I thought he was dead, but I called his name and he raised his whole body up and started talking immediately.” 

Though he was alive, he had sustained multiple injuries and couldn’t walk anymore.

The full extent of Lucky’s injuries wasn’t known, but it looked bad enough that the veterinarian wouldn’t even take any X-rays as they expected Lucky to succumb to shock and internal injuries within 48 hours.

They did get some painkillers for Lucky. Being a long-time pig breeder, Williamson knew some basic care they could give Lucky, who ended up pulling through those initial 48 hours and was still showing he had a lot of life left in him.

Some of the abrasions and bruises were so bad on his hooves, they thought he might lose them, but he never did.

Even more miraculously, Lucky hadn’t even broken any bones during his tumble on I-5. Aside from the abrasions and bruises, joint and ligament damage appear to be the worst Lucky suffered.

Within about a week, with Zandaea visiting every day to help take care of him and even hand-feeding him, Lucky slowly began to try to get back up.

“He was in his pen just lying there,” Zandeae said.

“He’s responded better every day to her than to any of us adults,” Jessica added.

Now, just over three weeks after the fall, Lucky is finally walking around again — albeit still a bit gingerly, and never for more than about 10 minutes at a time.

Due to a diet consisting mostly of Gatorade for the first 10 days following the accident, Williamson doubts Lucky will make weight as a market pig by the time the Cowlitz County Fair rolls around in July.

“He really loves Gatorade,” Zandaea added.

Despite not being able to make sale weight anymore, Williamson and Zandaea still plan to show Lucky at the fair as part of his ongoing rehabilitation.

“To show a pig, she’s gotta walk around with him in the arena for about 20 minutes, so that’s our goal,” Williamson said.

“We’re trying to turn a negative experience into a positive one,” Jessica added. “And I think we’ll have good results for her, even if she doesn’t get a market check, these are memories she’ll have for life.”

While Zandeae was looking forward to getting a market check following Lucky’s sale, the check didn’t matter anymore after the ordeal they had been through together.

“After we got into this whole situation, I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to sell him or kill him,’” Zandeae said.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do with him,” Jessica added. “Eventually maybe he’ll be in Zandeae’s wedding someday, the ring-bearer.” 

Lucky, now approaching four months old, is still receiving weekly treatment, including pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and veterinary chiropractic care.

Jessica expects Lucky to recover by the time the fair rolls around. She is accepting donations to continue helping pay for his veterinary care.

Those interested in donating can send money to Jessica through CashApp at ​​$Jessicaj74cole or through Venmo at

For updates on Lucky’s recovery or to contact Jessica for more information, visit her Facebook profile at