Car crashes are often difficult news stories to write. Reading about injuries and wrecked cars can wear on you and pull at your heartstrings while you sit at your keyboard composing an article. Other times, everyone’s okay, and a semi truck just dumps a full trailer of potatoes onto a highway, shutting an entire direction of traffic down. These stories are much, much better.
At about 4:45 a.m. yesterday, January 20, a semi truck loaded with potatoes overturned on I-94 outside Albertville, MN. Tubers flooded the eastbound lanes of traffic, stopping other vehicles in their tracks as they tried to drive through.
Luckily, no serious injuries were reported to the drivers or passengers of any vehicle — including the semi. I-94 itself, however, didn’t fare quite so well: The pre-sunrise outside temperature was so cold that the dislodged potatoes froze to the roadway, making removing them a herculean effort.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation eventually brought in specialized equipment to scrape up the starches, and the highway was reopened for traffic by 10 a.m. No word on whether any potatoes remained edible, though I hear freezing them before frying makes for a great texture.
American highways are no stranger to odd things being dumped out of moving vehicles from vehicles, and food products often find their way into the mix. Seattle had a bout with spilled syrup in the 1940s, and even New York is just a year and a half past our own infamous chicken spill. Of all these, the potatoes might be the most pleasant — or at least the least gross to clean up.
No names have been released from the crash, and it’s as yet unclear if any charges will be filed for the flood of spuds. If you’re in the area, though, there may be some leftover potatoes sitting off the side of the road that are up for grabs if you want them. They’re just neat.