Two Days of Truck Crashes Left Highways Covered in Alfredo Sauce and Tomatoes

It's been a bad week for transporting Italian food staples.

Alfredo sauce
Photo: ALLEKO / Getty Images

If you've ever dropped a glass bottle of pasta sauce and watched it explode all over your kitchen, you know just how much of a mess it can make. So imagine a similar situation but with a tractor-trailer full of jars of alfredo sauce, and you can begin to picture the level of chaos yesterday on a stretch of Tennessee highway.

Memphis's WREG said the accident was reported at 4:43 p.m. on the northbound lanes of Interstate 55, a couple miles south of downtown. A truck reportedly struck a retainer wall, shredding off nearly half of the trailer's left-hand side and sending cases of what a reporter confirmed to be Five Brothers brand alfredo sauce smashing to the road.

Massive white smears could be seen across all three lanes of traffic, with some even spilling into the southbound lanes, resulting in significant closures. The cleanup, which video showed involved at least one small bulldozer to remove all the sauce and broken glass, continued over six hours later, according to reports.

Oddly enough, it was the second consecutive day of bad news for Italian dinner staples: On Monday morning, an open-topped truck hit the center divider on Interstate 80 about midway between San Francisco and Sacramento in California, sending its huge cargo of tomatoes across the highway, also causing major traffic disruptions

That accident, which happened around 5 a.m., left commuters seeing red, both literally and figuratively: The New York Times reported that the vehicle flung about 150,000 tomatoes to the road, leaving a pile about two-feet deep in some places and forcing the highway to close due to the dangerous conditions. "Those tomato skins, man," California Highway Patrol officer Jason Tyhurst told the paper. "Once they hit the asphalt, it's like walking on ice."

The highway was reportedly completely reopened about ten hours later. "We don't see that amount of tomatoes fall off a truck and close a highway," said Vince Jacala, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, added. "Like, usually it's a couple here and there."

I'd assume the same cannot be said about jars of alfredo sauce.

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