Chicken magnate seriously injured in auto accident

April 02, 2000

The chicken magnate of the Eastern Shore, Franklin P. Perdue, was seriously injured yesterday when his Mercedes rear-ended a pickup truck on Route 13 in Salisbury, Maryland State Police said.

Police said they issued the 79-year-old a ticket charging him with negligent driving.

Perdue was traveling south shortly after 9 a.m. when his car struck the truck whose driver was was making a right turn onto the Cheers gas station parking lot, said Maryland State Police Sgt. L. K. Guyton.

The driver of the truck, James D. Simms, 47, sustained minor injuries and drove himself home after the accident, Guyton said.

Perdue, from Salisbury where Perdue Farms Inc. is based, was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition last night.

Guyton said his injuries are not life-threatening.

The traffic charge carries a $120 fine and three points, Guyton said.

Perdue built his family business into the nation's third-largest poultry company. In addition to its headquarters, Perdue Farms operates feed and packing plants in Salisbury.

Perdue, a prominent philanthropist, retired in 1991 and his son, Jim, took control of the company.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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