A Wave of Blue
A truck managed to leak 260 gallons of Smurf-blue paint onto Auckland’s Northwestern Motorway back in 2014. The pretty paint matched the truck perfectly, as the officer on the scene pointed out. The accident in New Zealand created more problems for a rush-hour than expected.
The trail of blue paint trailed for several offramps, the huge puddle accumulated once the rig was stopped. This Mainfreight rig certainly left its mark!
Tractor-Trailer Delivers Pineapples to Staten Island Expressway
A truck driver brought a taste of the tropics to a cold, January morning commute in 2014 when he dumped his load onto the Staten Island Expressway. When the tractor-trailer flipped, all lanes were blocked and filled with the spikey, tangy tropical fruits. Traffic was completely stopped for several hours and drivers were irate, that is until they witnessed the sea of pineapples.
A driver of a second car was involved and at least one driver was treated for minor injuries. No word if the pineapples were salvaged!
Avocado Spill Closes Interstate for 12 Hours
After the long cleanup effort, Texas police posted its final Tweet with the hashtag #guacinpeace. It was the 2019 avocado spill, the second time 40,000 pounds of avos were lost in Texas. The disaster happened on the I-10 in Cibolo near San Antonio.
Some people don't like avocados. Police joked that they wished donuts got dumped instead with hashtag #whynotdonuts. Hopefully, a local food bank was able to salvage some of the priciest fruits in the world.
This truck lumbered toward disaster sending planks of wood in every direction. The tractor-trailer was hauling 90,000 pounds of lumber when the driver dozed off and barreled into a rock cliff. Interstate 96 in Sidney, Maine was shut down for hours.
This lumber spill happened on July 29, 2015, but it happens more often than you'd like to think. Just a week earlier there was a lumber spill on the New Jersey Turnpike. On Feb. 6, 2020, another one tangled traffic in Massachusetts. A crash in Pennsylvania happened on Dec. 4, 2017, and in January of 2020, another lumber spill in Jasper County, South Carolina occurred.
Holy Mackerel, Batman!
A fish lorry driving through Belfast in January of 2015 managed to dump an entire shipment of mackerel. Six hundred fish poured out onto Ravenhill Road, and the driver just drove on. He may not have even known he lost his shipment, according to responders.
Locals were at the scene harvesting the huge catch while city officials warned that reaping the bounty could be dangerous, calling the fish "unfit for human consumption." Tommy Bardsley told The Belfast Telegraph that he scooped up 25 fish. "It's all fresh fish, I'll have some for dinner and freeze the rest," Mr. Bardsley said. Tommy added that he was certain that the fish were just off the boat. Luckily, city street cleaners got rid of the rest before the stench overwhelmed the area.
Is it a Spill or is it Art?
Accidents happen. But when this driver tipped his truck, he serendipitously created a vibrant street mural. Residents looked on with awe that forgot all about toxic spills and the environment.
Only slightly injured, the Brazilian truck driver had taken a turn too quickly and, loaded down with 4 tons of paint, the momentum overcame his truck. Streaks of colorful paint streamed down this Manaus freeway ramp, in effect, reinventing street art as we know it.
Quite a Scramble!
You can order eggs over easy, but these eggs got flipped. This is what happens when 136,000 eggs slide off of a tractor-trailer. It happened last year in Pennsylvania when a trucker was transporting a delivery of fertilized eggs to an incubation facility. Instead, 2,260 gallons of egg yolks poured over the highway when the 66-year-old driver cut a turn too close, launching crates of chicken eggs.
The crazy thing is he drove on, not realizing he lost over a hundred thousand eggs. It took several hours and 20,000 gallons of water to clean it up. The incident pictured above happened in China in 2018. It took two hours to clean the highway.
The Pavement of Chocolate!
It looks like a scene out of Willy Wonka's world but actually it is the A2 highway in Poland coated with 12 tons of chocolate. The cleanup was complicated. The chocolate, in the cool late spring morning, hardened before it could be washed away. All six lanes of the Slupca highway in Western Poland were drenched in this liquid goodness.
The fire crew was called in and said it was more difficult than snow to remove once it hardened and trickier to clean up than an oil spill. The crews had to find hot water to spray on the enormous road-sized chocolate bar to melt it away and wash it into the gutters.
In March of 2014, citizens of Shreveport, Louisiana were delivered a special surprise. A California-bound semi was heading through New Orleans to California when the driver flipped the truck and crashed onto the guard rail. This unfortunate happened in the late hours of the night spilling 75,000 corn dogs across the freeway. Plenty of the frozen food favorites were still strewn in the morning hours when passersby grabbed them up by the armloads.
One thing is true, this corny incident was crazy. On the other hand, commuters were taxed with delays and detours lasting 9 hours. The route was closed down for 11 hours. The driver was not injured, and he wasn't even charged with any violations.
Would You Like Some Chips With That?
Allow me to introduce the Frito-Lay chip truck meets Bud Light, King of Beers tractor-trailer. This might have been a great encounter under different circumstances. It could have been a rockin' street party. But when these two trucks met, the impact ripped the side of the beer truck opens sending cases of brewskies to waste.
On top of that, bags of crushed chips littered the street. Nothing was salvageable. That's one way to crash a party! It was three o'clock one morning when the chip truck was having trouble and pulled to the emergency lane. The semi-truck, barreling down the slow lane and swerving to avoid another traffic hindrance, laid into chip truck, and that's how they met.
Cookie Dough Accident
"Such a waste of cookie dough!" That's how one Facebook user put it responding to a posting by Pender EMS & Fire, Inc. that said to "expect delays and keep an eye out for clean up crews if you happen to be heading south on Highway 17 through Scotts Hill in the area of Sidbury Road."
This tragedy of cookie lovers everywhere happened in North Carolina without a collision. The truck came to a halt at a red light. When the light turned green and it took off, the backdoor flew open and 20 large wheeled carts rolled out, dumping gallons of its decadent contents into the street. It was a sad week for sweets as the massive chocolate spill in Poland went down just days earlier.
One Potato, Two Potato
Forty-thousand pounds of potatoes more inundated the outer loop of Interstate 495 on an early June morning in 2015. Containers of spuds that will never be mashed, baked, sautéed, or French-fried poured out of the wayward tractor-trailer into the ditch and onto the road.
The truck, carrying 43,000 pounds of potatoes, veered into the divide around 3 a.m. and spilled its load. The driver who had fallen asleep was rushed to the hospital with a broken arm. Wet weather made early morning traffic in D.C. a disaster. In all, three crashes tied up the beltway.
Turn Off That Grill
Giant-size sausages strewn the road and the embankment after two semi-trucks bonked into each other. Tens of thousands of pounds of the barbeque essential lay to waste untold brats and beers parties.
The crash in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin happened when one truck rear-ended the other. The entire load was lost but, amazingly, neither driver was hurt. The collision caused the sausage truck to barrel through a guardrail and into the front of a bridge sending it rolling down the embankment with the boxes of meat rolling out with it.
What looks like a bumper crop of green beans is actually a massive truck spill that happened in Surrey, B.C. The generous side of veggies ended up on the highway after the semi-truck tipped over.
The accident happened around noon and the cleanup crew went to work. The fully biodegradable mess had to be scooped up with front-end loaders and pushed to the side in piles.
Hold the Fries
An enormous shipment of the best item on McDonald's menu never made it to the fryer. In 2018, a bright red McDonald's truck tipped over on the 5 freeway in O.C. and it lost everything. Not one fry was spared. The dumped and disheveled boxes marked "MAC FRIES" were contained quickly, but the early morning crash on March 26 caused traffic delays. Pitifully, local Mickey D's suffered temporary menu shortages.
It was small potatoes for the fast-food behemoth which is the world's biggest potato buyer and this franchise knows fries. It's well accepted as one of the best French fries from any restaurant, but with 19 ingredients listed, it's hard to imagine what, exactly, gives the fry-cut potato stick its flavor.
In the Netherlands in 2017, a truckload of Holland's best brew did not make it to its destination. Cases and cases, 2,184 cases to be exact, of Grolsch beer were relinquished. The cleanup of fermented hops and glass was a hazardous mess, but some of the crew salvaged a cold one or two that hadn't shattered upon impact, making it a bit of a pickup party. Hopefully rides home were provided.
One question: Was the driver who caused the crash already inebriated? A woman veered into the oncoming lane and the beer truck swerved to miss her. She flipped her car and the truck rolled over, both drivers survived.
Pigs on the Run
Amongst a frenzy of high-pitch squeals, thousands of pigs won a chance for freedom, but many of them were captured. The ordeal happened in 2015 after the semi-truck that carried them crashed just outside of Dayton, Ohio.
The pigs were on the way to the fattening farms, scampered off toward the forest while workers tried to wrangle them up. A chain of people passed each squealing pig from the wreck to safety. More than five departments plus citizen volunteers were at the scene. Out of the 2,200 animals, 1,500 were captured and given refuge at the nearby fairgrounds.
Yogurt Responsible For Shutting Down Multiple Lanes In Toronto
Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said when the truck loaded with yogurt crashed on Toronto's busy Hwy 401, the road was "a big slippery mess." A reporter called it "pink goo." Individual yogurt containers were strewn everywhere. It was a healthy snack tsunami.
The accident happened when a sleepy trucker veered into an electronic sign on the side of the road. It ripped into the side of his truck, tearing it off. Police say he faced charges of careless driving.
Not a PR Stunt
On the cusp of the release of the new-at-the-time Deadpool movie, a semi-truck spewed boxes of Deadpool, Vol. 9: Institutionalized all over I-71 in Ohio. Other titles were strewn amongst the wreckage and readers were notified of the delay.
Though it seems like a clip from a movie, it was a legitimate accident. The Diamond Comics Distributors truck driver had pulled off to the side after breaking down and dozed off. His nap was interrupted when another truck slammed into the back of his rig.
The party is over when 35,000 pounds of ice cream is ruined. Kroger was shipping pallets of their assorted "deluxe brand" flavors when the driver lost control on the exit ramp and overturned the trailer. The ramp was closed, and traffic halted.
The driver suffered minor injuries but the 2013 crash in Indiana decimated the shipload of frozen dessert.
This happened way back in 1992 but the story goes on. A shipping container of bath toys from China to the U.S. fell off the cargo ship and splashed into the North Pacific during high seas. Some bobbed all the way to the coast of Maine.
Oceanographers have tracked the 1992 cargo spill. Twenty years later, those ill-fated rubber duckies have been found washed up on the shores of Australia, South America, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest. In the Arctic, ducks have been found frozen in the ice. Author Donovan Hohn of Moby-Duck has traced the travels of each duck in his study about ocean pollution.
A half-million dollars in cash escaped a Brinks armored truck and people raced to the scene, scooping up the cash and, many, running away with it. Police said shortly after the incident that $188,955 was still missing.
Many good Samaritans turned in the dough, and others were scrutinized on police videos for identification. Police Capt. Phillip Taormina said, "If you turn the money in on your own before we identify you, you won't face charges."
No one was able to capture the wreckage, but here's what it must have been like when a truck carrying 75,000 pounds of crab meat dumped its load. The driver veered into a signpost that gutted its side open before tumbling over.
The 37 tons of products that were lost cost the company $176,000. The driver miscalculated a turn and over-corrected, sending it into the guardrail, and the signpost, this happened just outside of Salt Lake City.
Just like in the pizza pie disaster, this truck also veered into the overpass bridge and had its contents ripped out. This time the trucker admitted he had conked out. "I thought I could make it down to the truck stops in Kenly, but I didn't quite. I sort of drowsed off, and next thing I knew I had taken out the guard rail," the driver told ABC the news affiliate.
The Oodles of noodles were not salvageable as diesel fuel contaminated the bounty of Ramen and was instead hauled off to the dump.
More Money Than We'd Expect
You never know when an armored bank truck is going to crash and spill its loot, it happens a lot. In 2019, $175,000 poured out of a Garda truck on an Atlanta interstate, fluttering into the woods and falling on the shoulder. Some of the money went down the gutter with the rain.
In 2018, $600,000 fell out the backdoor of a Brinks armored truck while driving in Indianapolis. In the same year in New Jersey, a malfunctioning armored door released at least $6,000 onto the highway.
Hungry Jack Syrup
Yes, it happened. Thousands of gallons of pancake syrup oozed down the I-71 at Buttermilk Pike in Kentucky. The sticky mess took hours to clean up. Crews removed the maple-colored syrup by adding sand to it so that a front loader could shovel it up. The semi was totaled, the entire side of the trailer ripped off, laying behind the rest of the truck. Breakfast was officially canceled.
The only saving grace is that those hundreds of bottles of maple-flavored syrup were not actual maple syrup, that delicacy of sweet sap tapped from the tree. However, the bottles of flapjack syrup consisting of caramel-colored, high-fructose corn syrup was still a waste.
A Sticky Situation
News media was a-buzz when 14 million bees, along with a truckload of honey, crashed in Idaho in 2011. A river of honey flowed down the road. Needless to say, the bees were buzzing mad, resulting in many emergency responders getting stung. In all, 400 hives were thrown to the asphalt.
You probably will not want to hear this, but many of the honeybees were sprayed with insecticide foam by the responders. All told, $400,000 worth of bee product was lost. Fire Chief Kenny Strandberg worried about another problem, namely, grizzly bears being lured to the area.
That's a real hashtag created by the Texas cops who were in charge of the cleanup effort. It was the second time 40,000 pounds of avocados went to waste by tractor-trailer spill.
The same thing happened in 2017, in the same state, too! The 2017 wreck was an even bigger disaster. Losing tons of California-grown avocados is a tragedy in itself. But this time they went up in flames. Driving on Texas I-35E, a suspected malfunction on the driver's rig caused a fire. Grilled avos are delicious, but this was neither the time nor the place.
A Truck Spill That Did Not Go to Waste
Two trucks spilled a load of waste. Tons of treated human waste oozed out onto the roadway after two trucks, both carrying a total of 16 tons of sewage from a treatment plant, managed to lose their loads on Hwy. 27 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
First responders were greeted with a stinky mess. The piles of treated sewage would not go to waste, but it took all day to clean up the disgusting mayhem. A private contractor hauled it away for its original purpose, to be used as fertilizer by farmers. Motorists who had to drive through it were not pleased. "A crappy way to start my Friday," resident Bradley Robinson said. Both drivers were cited for "unsecured loads."
The Pear Rush
Villagers flocked to an overturned produce truck with bags and baskets, scooping up the prized fruit. Gorgeous golden pears strewed the Chengdu village roadside in the Sichuan province, and neither the driver's admonitions nor a traffic policeman's attempts could stop the well-organized crowd. Villagers worked as a team to pack and transport the pears in cars and vans.
The owner showed up at the scene eventually. He declared the fruit unsalable and welcomed the happy villagers to take their share of the bounty.
A Happy Ending
Just in time for Thanksgiving, a trucker dumped 25,000 pounds of turkeys heading to Costco onto a Bay Area freeway ramp. What at first, seemed like a tragic disaster concluded with a happy ending.
The boxed birds were gathered from the road and sent to Oakland's Alameda County Food Bank. They were used to feed the homeless and needy. Spokesman Michael Altfest said, "This kind of donation simply couldn't come at a better time. This is going to add a significant addition of holiday joy to thousands of households throughout our community."
Lego Rainbow of Colors
It wasn't a semi-truck that dumped the tiny toy bricks all over the highway this time. The story is much sadder. A large tote of Legos that belonged to an 11-year-old boy came loose from atop of his family's vehicle. His mother said on Facebook, "He cried it seemed like forever, but I tried to recover as many as I could."
Then, everything changed. A firefighter named Eric McClain photographed the multicolored traffic impediment and posted it to FB. The mother saw the post and commented. After that, hearts swelled. Everyone wanted to help. McClain said, "It's amazing, there are so many people from all over the country who want to give this kid Legos."
Yuck Factor: Reader Discretion Advised
In Australia in 2006, a semi-tanker truck flipped over and spewed thousands of gallons of gooey pink processed meat products. Eww. The raw fleshy goo slowly seeped down the road like molten lava. One can only hope that no vegans were amongst the cleanup crew!
Pet owners, too, might want to hurl after hearing that the processed meat product was heading to a factory to make dog food.
Truck White-Washes Highway
Highway 35 in Scottsboro next to the Tennessee River was painted white after a semi-tanker truck deposited its contents over the roadway. Alabama cleanup crews raced to keep it from polluting the marina by mixing it with sand to stop its flow. A few hundred gallons seeped into the waterway, but the latex paint was not considered a serious environmental hazard.
Apparently, the truck's breaks went out or was otherwise unable to stop before it rolled down the highway.
Doggone Dream Come True
The I-5, stretching almost the entire West Coast of the nation, sees a lot of truck spills and this one was for the dogs. The Washington state crash involved a semi-truck overturning and spilling its load of dog food into the ditch. Once again, the driver conked out behind the wheel.
Thousands of pounds of 50-pound bags of dog food piled in the ditch, a virtual feast for our canine companions. The driver was lucky he wasn't crushed by one of the bags after he crashed, according to authorities at the scene who charged him with negligent driving. This pet food calamity happened in Fife in November of 2014.
Seven hundred turkeys were set free after the truck that was transporting them flipped over and dumped them out. Butterball owned the birds. A few of them perished in the crash, but, astonishingly, most of the birds just chilled near the overturned truck waiting for recapture. They're not known as the smartest bird!
The accident happened in North Carolina in January of 2018, the driver was cited for unsafe speeding.
An M&M Travesty
A KLM truck packed with a precious load of M&Ms, 17 tons of the candy to be exact, was destroyed in a spectacular wreck. The semi swerved off the exit ramp, clipped another tractor-trailer that happened to be pulled off to the side, rammed into the concrete barrier, and flipped onto its side.
Many of the candies managed to stay packaged but the company said it was unsalable. "Due to our strict quality and food safety standards, none of the product has been salvaged," according to the Mars Wrigley spokesperson. Cleanup crews must have found sweet success.
A Ribbon of Highway
Three miles of a Massachusetts highway was painted red in April of 2007. The red ribbon formed as the morning commute drove through the spill of red dye and tracked it into a perfect crimson strip.
The faces of drivers turned the same crimson color when they saw the damage to their vehicles. But it was a windfall for the local carwash. It happened on the I-495 near Boston when a container of dye on a tractor-trailer ruptured, spilling its contents.
Chickens on the Run
One last chance of escape was foiled as a truckload of chickens heading to the slaughter were rounded up by local officials. The lorry carrying 3,000 chickens jackknifed, snarling the A80 near Glasgow. A witness said, "I've never seen anything like it. There were dead chickens all of the roads, live chickens running around everywhere, and policemen along with 'chicken catchers' trying to grab them and place them back into containers."
The flapping and squawking flurry of feathers was reduced by 400. Police officers, vets, and trained handlers from the chicken company chased and captured 2,000 birds. It took them five hours.