It’s Been A Red Letter Year So Far For Road Spills

Beer, LEGO, and naked men wielding formaldehyde spilt onto the world’s roads in 2013, making it a hard year to top, but truck drivers in 2014 are having a red hot go.

Last weekend saw bags and bags of cash spill out of a truck on Rhode Island, but every other week, it seems something’s dribbling, rolling or smearing its way across a highway where it’s not meant to be.

Here’s the 2014 update you’ve been waiting for:


“There were bags of it all over the place,” deputy fire chief Paul L. Valletta Jr told the Providence Journal. “There were quite a few people here.”

It was a tough month for Garda. It lost $21,000 just a couple of weeks earlier when one of its trucks drove off from an Atlantic City casino with a bag of money on the roof.

AUGUST – Muriatic Acid


A Level II hazardous materials alert was called by the Chicago Fire Department as it tried to contain nearly 2000 litres of muriatic acid near US Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.

Muriatic acid is the non-alarming name for hydrochloric acid, the acid of choice for witness-dissolving ne’er-do-wells worldwide. As there was a game on, fans were told to avoid the acid on the White Sox’s Facebook page.


JULY – Red Bull

According to the Orlando Weekly:

It is unknown how many small woodland creatures imbibed puddles of the drink and then chewed their own chins off.

JULY – Yoghurt and hummus

Picture: CBSLocal

“A big mess” in Bear, Detroit, according to CBS Philly, when a truck overturned containing enough yogurt and hummus to fuel 1000 mornings-after worth of souvlakis.

JULY – Red wine

Screengrab of the Great Bourdeaux Wine Disaster of 2014 from Sud Oest newspaper.

Only about $1.8 million worth of Bourdeaux’s finest, along with a nation’s tears as tragic news broke of the 2011 Château La Dominique Saint-Emilion grand cru flowing into the gutter outside the commune of Saint-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens.

JULY – Apples

cleared the freeway of a huge load of apples

JULY – Jam

Source: Sunne Emergency Services

Subeditors the world over hi-fived as a vanload of preserves and juices literally caused a jam on the E45 outside Sunne in western Sweden.

“It’s a mixed compote, common pancake jam. We have a stretch of 70 – 100 metres that is just full of jam,” Fredrik Persson, a fireman with the Sunne emergency services, told the TT news agency.

JULY – Chicken guts

Picture: Walmart

“A slick trail of viscera” is the wonderfully vivid description given by Athens Banner-Herald reporter Joe Johnson after he got the call out to cover the chicken innards spill on Jefferson Rd, Georgia.

It took an hour for the spill to be cleaned up. Or, as it were, for the spill to be “scooped out of the roadway by members of a prison detail”.

JULY – Lactic acid

Picture: Illinois Department of Transportation

Australia kicked off the acid spill season with 1000 litres of lactic acid which dropped off the back of a truck on the Midland Highway at Bannockburn.

Lactic acid is, as its name suggests, used by the dairy industry.

JUNE – Mashed potato

Picture: North Yorkshire Police

The Press in Yorkshire reported this quote from a local police spokeswoman:

“Instant mash is covering the road and cars have skidded as a result of the mash swelling up.”

It took six hours to clear up, which involved the fire service using freezing chemicals on the mash after it had been ploughed, then a high-powered hose.

The highlight, though, was this quote from family man Wayne Dukes who had to stop for the mash with his family, and displayed an impressive knowledge of long-haul lorries.

“The wagon looked like a Warcup articulated wagon with a bulker trailer on, normally used for corn or wheat. It must have been converted for a thick liquid but when he braked hard the mash went forward and over the front of the trailer on to the tractor unit.”

MARCH – Corn Dogs

In Shreveport, LA, fans mourned the loss of up to 75,000 of them when an 18-wheeler flipped and hit a guard rail. The driver was not injured.

MARCH – Honey

19 TONNES of honey. It’s enough to make a grown bear cry. And if it wasn’t, the puns that flowed on Twitter following this overturn on the 605 Freeway in California were enough finish anyone off.

FEBRUARY – Maple syrup

Picture: OKCFox

“I got caught in the syrup spill this morning,” Oklahoma City resident Jon Fisher told Reuters, “and now I’m craving pancakes.”

An eight kilometre long spill, to be precise. The driver of a truck carrying 181,700 litres of maple syrup didn’t know it was leaking all over the highway into Oklahoma City.

BONUS ITEM, APRIL – Human excrement


“OK guys, saddle up. We got a human waste spill.” Is not the call you want to hear on a Monday, but it’s exactly what one unfortunate Arkansas team faced in April.

The truck was carrying human waste for the city of Huntsville to a landfill depot when a malfunctioning gate valve opened, leaving a two kilometre long skidmark on the highway.

The team used shovels and some kind of industrial vacuum cleaner to clean it up. And lime. Lots and lots of lime, to cover the stench. Helpfully, authorities told drivers to not use their hands to remove the human excrement from their cars, recommending a car wash instead.