The spill closed the highway for several hours.
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It’s been a messy week for American highways. On Tuesday, a semi-truck in Tennessee spilled jars of alfredo sauce across several lanes, causing all sorts of chaos and creating a challenging cleanup. The day before that, a truck in California crashed into a highway median, scattering more than 150,000 tomatoes across several lanes of busy Interstate 80.
The tomato spillage happened early Monday morning in Vacaville, California when the truck hauling the fruit collided with a vehicle. According to The New York Times, the truck struck another vehicle before colliding with the median, which caused the truck to spill the tomatoes into the oncoming lanes.
Unsuspecting drivers drove through the spill, crushing the fruit into a slippery paste that caused cars to lose control. Several vehicles were involved in crashes related to the spill. California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Tyhurst told the publication that the truck driver and two others received minor injuries from the incident. A fourth person suffered a broken leg. Tyhurst said that the incident could have easily caused a fatality.
The crash forced the California Highway Patrol to close the highway in both directions for several hours. According to the Los Angeles Times, the tomatoes were cleaned up from the eastbound lanes by 11:30 a.m. Monday morning, more than six hours after the crash. Crews used an absorbent powder to clean up the greasy dirt, tomato, and oil mixture. However, one westbound lane remained closed until about 3 p.m. as cleanup crews worked to remove the semi-truck.
Solano County, where the crash happened, is a significant tomato producer, and the California Highway Patrol has dealt with other spills. However, Tyhurst told the NY Times that they usually occur on less-busier roads in the area.
The incident in Tennessee didn’t cause any injuries, but the oily sauce also caused slicked road conditions. There have been no shortages of weird spills over the years, with beer, sardines, skittles, Deadpool comics, and printer ink all ending up scattered on the road. Those are some strange and messy cleanups.