An early-morning spill sent hundreds of pounds of broccoli tumbling onto Interstate 80 Wednesday.
Sgt. Todd Royce of the Utah Highway Patrol, said the driver of a semi truck hauling 75,000 pounds of broccoli and lettuce was driving eastbound on I-80 near the Tooele-Salt Lake County line shortly before 2 a.m. when the truck drifted off the side of the road and hit a bridge pillar. The impact tore open the truck, allowing about 300 pounds of broccoli to fall out, he said.
The driver, who was not injured, may have fallen asleep at the wheel, Royce said.
“It appears that the driver may have fallen asleep,” he said. “We’re looking into the possibility of fatigue being a factor.”
Soon after, a passenger car swerved to miss the truck, Royce said. That car rolled, and its driver had minor injuries from the crash and was treated at a Salt Lake hospital.
I-80 eastbound was closed for roughly four hours while crews swept up broccoli and found a means of hauling the trailer — and the rest of its load — away. Fortunately, the crash occurred just east of the exit to SR-201, so traffic was diverted onto that highway, causing few delays, he said.
“If it would have been a little further west, it would have caused bigger problems,” said Royce. “Right there they were just able to divert traffic onto 201.”