Somebody’s poor meatballs won’t be on top of spaghetti, after a tractor-trailer spilled more than 20 tons of them onto a Virginia highway on Friday.
State Police responded to the accident in Greensville County in rural southern Virginia around 12:30 a.m. local time Friday morning. 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.
The Greensville County Fire Department responded to the scene. 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. As of Friday morning, there was no update on the driver’s condition. The driver of the first rig, identified as Al Stenford, was not reported as injured; he was later charged with failing to obey a highway marking, WAVY reported.
The collision closed all northbound and southbound lanes of I-95 until about 4:30 a.m. as crews cleared the wreckage from the highway. Hampton Roads station WTKR reported that lanes continued to be blocked while crews cleared the meatballs from the road.
The meatball mess comes a few months after two other trucks carrying Italian dinner staples spilled their contents onto interstate highways. On August 29, a big rig carrying nearly 300,000 tomatoes while traveling on a Northern California interstate crashed into two vehicles, sending the fruit rolling out of the semi-trailer and creating a two-foot-deep red sea across the highway.
Officer Jason Tyhurst of the CHP told The Daily Wire that at approximately 5 a.m. that morning, a big rig was traveling westbound on Interstate 80 in Vacaville — about 35 miles west of Sacramento — when it collided with a vehicle that sent the truck swerving through lanes and hitting another car before plowing through the center divider.
The tomato-covered highway soon became too slick for other vehicles to endure, causing a chain reaction of crashes. The mixture of tomato juice, oil, and dirt caused one vehicle to become stuck on the road before two others would eventually strike the car. Another vehicle was sideswiped by a car struggling to gain control on the slippery interstate.
The very next day, Alfredo sauce covered a portion of an interstate near Memphis, Tennessee, after an 18-wheeler crashed into a wall, prompting local authorities to shut down a portion of the highway. Commuters traveling southbound were limited to one lane until clean-up crews cleared the damage from the crash.
Video footage taken by Kate Bieri of Fox 13 Memphis showed traffic maneuvering slowly down the shoulder while the entire road surface is coated white with the spilled condiment from the torn-open trailer. Memphis Police told Fox 13 that authorities transported one woman from the scene to the hospital in non-critical condition.
Brandon Drey contributed to this report.