America’s freeways: the land of spilled milk and money

James Raia

No crying over spilled milk unless it's on freeways.

Freeways full of bees spilled milk, frozen pizza and money? Who knew?

They could have been scenes from comedy movies or low-level horror films. And since no one was seriously hurt, a little humor seems just fine when discussing some of the unusual cargo that’s fallen or spilled off trucks traveling the country’s freeways.

The industry site freightwaves.com has documented odd circumstances when something’s gone wrong — 14 million bees in on the I-5 median at the I-405 interchange near Lynwood, Washington to the hundreds of pizzas spilled on the intersection of two freeways in Little Rock, Arkansas on I-30, near of I-430.

Freeways can be full of degris like frozen pizzas, bees, spilled milk and money
Freeways can be full of debris like frozen pizzas, bees, spilled milk and money.

Freeways are often full of unsafe stuff

A payload of milk spilled in a crash on the I-30 overpass at MacArthur Boulevard in Grand Prairie, near Dallas, Texas. And how about the restored and just-purchased 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 429 involved in an accident in Dawsonville, Georgia, while being transported to its new owner from Rochester, New York?

And then there’s the case of an armored truck in New Jersey carrying $2 million that flipped on the New Jersey turnpike. The result: Tens of thousands of dollars in coins spilled onto the road.

In the pizza incident, a westbound section of the highway was closed for more than four hours while crews cleaned up the spill. No one was hurt but on-the-scene officials said the combination of the spilled diesel fuel mixed with the pizza crust, pepperoni, cheese and sauce made a “slippery spot.”

The aftermath of the armored truck crash required state troopers and turnpike maintenance crews five hours to gather the change with brooms and shovels and place it into plastic buckets.

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


James Raia, a syndicated auto columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: [email protected].

Article Last Updated: March 22, 2021.

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