A California collision Monday morning caused Interstate 80 to look like it was filled with salsa.
Solano County, California’s lands are primarily used for agriculture. Big-rig trucks transport about 50,000 pounds of tomatoes south to the Bay Area on a consistent basis. Occasionally, a few tomatoes would slip out of the sides of the trucks due to bumpy roads or sharp turns.
However, a collision resulted in more than just a few tomatoes slipping out.
150,000 lost tomatoes
Around 5 a.m. on Monday, a big rig, transporting tomatoes, collided with a vehicle, which struck another vehicle. This collision resulted in over 150,000 tomatoes being scattered across Interstate 80 in Vacaville, California.
You tell your boss you’re late for work because of a tomato spill on the highway.
Do they believe you?
NO (-200) pic.twitter.com/d5dFUszcTk
— Andrew G. Haubner (@A_G_Haubner) August 29, 2022
The tomatoes covered about 200 feet of the eastbound lanes of the interstate. According to Officer Jason Tyhurst of the California Highway Patrol, the tomatoes seemed to be about “two feet deep.”
Cars and tomatoes
As traffic built up, the road became filled with watery tomato juice, dirt, and oil. This resulted in the roads being slippery. “Once they [the tomato skins] hit the asphalt, it’s like walking on ice,” said Officer Tyhurst to The New York Times.
One car was struck by another vehicle because of the slippery road. There was another car that struck two vehicles and a swerving car ran into another car — the interstate was filled with tomatoes and crashes.
In total, there were seven cars involved in this incident. Officer Tyhurst shares that the driver of the truck and two other drivers had minor injuries. A fourth person went to the hospital and has a broken leg.
Interstate 80 closure
Almost every lane on both sides of Interstate 80 was closed down by the California Highway Patrol, which caused delays and traffic for commuters.
“We don’t see that amount of tomatoes fall off a truck and close a highway. Like, usually its a couple here and there,” said Vince Jacala, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.
The interstate was fully reopened by about 3 p.m. on Monday.