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30,000 pounds of seafood and meat litters Interstate 5 after spill

A tractor trailer overturned, spilling 30,000 pounds of meat and seafood on Interstate 5 near Newman Tuesday night.
A tractor trailer overturned, spilling 30,000 pounds of meat and seafood on Interstate 5 near Newman Tuesday night. California Highway Patrol

It took all night, but crews have cleared a nasty frozen food spill along Interstate 5 near Newman after a big rig driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed, the California Highway Patrol said. The driver suffered major injuries.

According to CHP officer Tom Olsen, the accident occurred about 11:10 p.m. Tuesday.

The driver, whose name was not released, was heading north in a tractor trailer combination carrying 30,000 pounds of shrimp, salmon, octopus and pork when he apparently fell asleep. The big rig hit the rumble strips along the right side of the freeway. The driver overcorrected to the left and lost control of the vehicle.

The tractor trailer overturned and the tractor landed on its right side straddling the slow lane and the shoulder of the road. The 53-foot trailer came to rest on its right side down an embankment.

The driver was taken to an area hospital for treatment, Though the man was wearing a seatbelt, it wasn’t fastened correctly, Olsen said.

“His injuries could have been minimized,” Olsen said.

Crews from the California Department of Transportation cleared the spilled meat by taking it though a nearby field to minimize the impact to traffic.

The road was fully reopened about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.
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