Tractor-Trailer Spills 20 Tons Of Corn Onto Wisconsin Highway

Drivers in the Milwaukee area were feeling a little bit corny after 20 tons of the vegetable spilled onto an interstate highway Thursday night.

In a Twitter thread Thursday evening, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office said that traffic had to be blocked on Interstate 41 southbound outside Milwaukee because a tractor-trailer overturned and spilled the vegetables onto the road. Crews had to block the highway even further in an effort to salvage the truck. Police are still investigating the cause of the accident.

“TRAFFIC ALERT: Please exercise caution in the area of S/B I-41 @ Florist Ave., where an overturned semi carrying 40,000 lbs of 🌽 is blocking lanes 2 and 3,” the MCSO tweeted around 9 p.m. local time. “The semi driver suffered just minor injuries. The circumstances of the crash/turnover are under investigation.”

The road had to be completely closed about an hour later. “UPDATE: The partial freeway closure at this rollover site is now a full freeway closure, as salvage efforts continue, with all southbound traffic diverted off of I-41 at Good Hope Road.”

The tweet included a photo of the crash site. The tractor-trailer lay on its side, with the truck on the shoulder and the trailer in a ditch off the road. The shipping container had slid off the trailer frame.

UPDATE: The partial freeway closure at this rollover site is now a full freeway closure, as salvage efforts continue, with all southbound traffic diverted off of I-41 at Good Hope Road. pic.twitter.com/WNRyicd0xO

— Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (@MilwCoSheriff) January 20, 2023

Crews had to redirect traffic again shortly afterward. “UPDATE 2: Traffic is now being diverted off of S/B I-41 @ Appleton Ave,” MCSO wrote.

According to local radio station WTMJ, it took several hours for crews to remove the truck and clear the roadway. The truck was the only vehicle involved in the accident. The driver’s condition was unclear, and no details about the crash were available Friday.

I-41 is a major arterial highway that connects Milwaukee and Green Bay with the cities on the Fox River. It runs North-South, beginning just south of the Wisconsin-Illinois border and ending north of Green Bay.

Last month, another truck carrying 20 tons of meatballs overturned onto a highway in rural southern Virginia. Traffic was shut down for about four hours after the big rig jackknifed, spilling more than 40,000 pounds of frozen meatballs onto I-95 South. Police charged the driver of the rig with a traffic violation.

According to Norfolk-based news station WAVY, the tractor-trailer ran off the road and struck a guardrail when the driver overcorrected. The vehicle jackknifed, causing the trailer to break away. Another big rig traveling in the same direction could not avoid the trailer and collided with it, spilling the frozen meatballs onto the highway. Officials said that it took more than two hours for rescue crews to free the driver of the second rig from the cab of the truck. The driver was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital with only minor injuries. The driver of the meatball truck was not reported injured; he was charged by police with failing to obey a highway marking.

In August of last year, two tractor-trailers overturned on opposite ends of the country, spilling other staples of Italian cuisine onto highways in California and Texas. First, a tractor-trailer carrying more than 300,000 tomatoes collided with another vehicle and plowed into a center divider, spilling the fruit onto the opposing lanes of traffic, which caused a chain reaction of crashes.

Then, another big rig overturned on a highway in Tennessee outside Memphis, spilling gallons of Alfredo sauce and creating a huge mess for drivers and work crews.

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