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5 weird things spilled out of trucks

Millions of bees or thousands of dollars in coins flying? That stings

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Accidents happen, even to the best truckers on America’s highways. Sometimes freight ends up scattered across the road, and occasionally it’s something people may not expect. These are five fairly odd things that have spilled out of or fallen off of trucks.

All abuzz

A semi carrying more than 450 beehives rolled over near Lynwood, Washington, in the predawn hours of April 17, 2015. It happened on the I-5 median at the I-405 interchange. The driver of the truck was not injured.

The hives contained roughly 14 million bees worth about $92,000, according to Sgt. Keith Leary of the Washington State Patrol. That comes to less than 1 cent per bee.

Related: 14 million spilled bees on I-5

Firefighters were able to save about 128 hives before the sun came up, at which point the bees became rather aggressive and started stinging people. Firefighters had to spray foam and water on the hives in order to kill the bees, but just about everybody got stung. Washington state police told the public driving by to keep their windows up to prevent the bees from flying into their cars.

Got milk?

Somebody may have cried over this one. A tanker carrying a payload of milk crashed near Dallas in the wee hours of April 2, 2019. It happened near the I-30 overpass at MacArthur Boulevard in Grand Prairie.

The crash was caught on security cameras as the truck creamed the guardrail and flew off the embankment into an intersection.

According to investigators, the driver fell asleep at the wheel. Luckily, he wasn’t injured, but he was charged with failure to maintain proper control of a vehicle. It took crews several hours to clean up the mess, according to a KXAS-TV report.

Pumped for sweet ride

A truck driver carrying a freshly restored Grabber Blue 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 429 was involved in an accident in August 2020. The trailer flipped, causing the just-purchased muscle car to crash to the ground. The car was on its way from Rochester, New York, to its new owner in Dawsonville, Georgia, a 900-mile drive. The approximate value of the car was $95,800 — before it took the dive.

It isn’t exactly clear how it happened, but photos of the trailer before the accident suggest the Mustang was improperly loaded onto the trailer. There was also another vehicle crashed at the scene, and a collision may have occurred that wasn’t the truck driver’s fault.

Related: Restored 429 Mach 1 Mustang Destroyed Just Miles Away From Destination

Either way, the new owner of the Mustang was probably pretty angry when he saw pictures of his purchase smashed up by the side of the road. The real kicker is the driver was just 20 minutes from his destination when the accident occurred.

Pizza plethora

It’s not delivery, period. In August 2017, a driver in Little Rock, Arkansas, was carrying DiGiorno and Tombstone frozen pizzas when he slammed into a column of the Mabelvale Pike overpass. This ripped open the trailer “like a tin can,” spilling diesel fuel and a truckload containing hundreds of pizzas onto the road, Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) spokesman Danny Straessle said. It happened on I-30, just east of I-430.

A westbound section of I-30 was closed for more than four hours while crews cleaned up the spill. Straessle said the bridge suffered only cosmetic damage, and “there were some people shaken up,” but no one was hurt. He added that the cheese and sauce, plus the spilled fuel, left a “slippery spot.” 

Money, money, money!

An armored truck in New Jersey carrying $2 million truly paid it forward by flipping over, spilling tens of thousands of dollars in coins. It happened back in October 2004 on the New Jersey turnpike near Linden. The truck was owned by the Coin Depot Corp. of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and the driver suffered minor injuries.

A few miles of the turnpike were closed for more than five hours as state troopers and turnpike maintenance crews used brooms to shovel quarters, dimes and nickels into plastic buckets. They also looked for change off the side of the road.

Related: Armored Truck Spill Paves Turnpike With Riches, in Small Change

“We’re in the toll business, but nobody’s ever seen this much coinage on the road in their life,” Joe Orlando, turnpike spokesperson, said. “They were down on their hands and knees in the grass 100 feet away. It was just covered in change.”

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.