Interstate 70 was shut down for over six hours in Kansas Tuesday after a semi truck hauling potatoes struck a guardrail, spilling the spuds across the highway.
The accident happened on June 12th at around 5:00 a.m. in Saline County, Kansas.
According to The Hays Daily News, the semi truck was traveling east on I-70 five miles east of Niles Road when it struck the guardrail protecting the pillars beneath the bridge overpass, separating the front axle from the big rig and sending it skidding over 100 feet before coming to a rest blocking the eastbound lanes of traffic.
The force of the impact spilled the load of potatoes across the roadway as well as ruptured the fuel tank, sparking a fire inside the semi truck.
POTATO SPILL: An early morning crash caused potatoes to spill out of a semi and all over I-70 about 10 miles east of Salina.
— Melissa Murray (@KWCHMMurray) June 12, 2018
Luckily, the unidentified trucker, who says he was reaching for something inside his cab when he began to lose control of the truck, was not injured in the wreck.
“The driver said he was reaching for something in his passenger seat when the truck began to shift,” said Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Levi Fleming.
“There’s also a slight curve right there, so there were multiple factors coming together to cause the unstable condition.”
All eastbound lanes were shut down for cleanup and traffic was redirected to the Niles Road exit, then to Old Highway 40, then eventually back to I-70 at the Solomon exit.
Eastbound I-70 is currently closed at Niles Road (MM 260) due to accident. Traffic is being detoured to old Hwy 40, then back to I-70 at the Solomon exit (MM 266). Semi is on its side with fuel spill and load of potatoes covering the interstate. Clean up will be extensive.
— NCKansasKDOT (@NCKansasKDOT) June 12, 2018
As crews worked to put out the fire and remove the potatoes from the roadway, the main concern of officials was the possibility of deer coming to the scene to eat the potatoes, potentially causing wrecks with other vehicles.
The roadway was reopened and the debris cleared around six hours later at about 11:00 a.m.