Drivers heading down an interstate in Charlotte, North Carolina, faced a major setback when 50,000 pounds of potatoes spilled from a truck, covering the freeway.
The tractor trailer crashed into the interstate median late in the evening on May 5, scattering thousands of potatoes across the road, WSOC reports. The driver, who reportedly told those at the scene that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, was trapped in the truck while parts of it burst into flames
"We stopped immediately and saw a guy try to crawl out of the cab," witness Grant Wales told WSOC. "Saw a lot fire going on, so I ran to him. His leg was pinned, tried pulling him out."
The driver will likely face a charge of failure to maintain lane control, although falling asleep at the wheel is not a chargeable offense. He is expected to make a full recovery.
The impact was so hard that the engine flew all the way out of the big rig along with the spuds.
A long cleanup ensued, with crews quickly gathering up the 50,000 pounds of potatoes, separating the clean ones from those soaked with diesel fuel and engine oil. Figuring out what to do with the soiled spuds is a little harder than it sounds.
"You basically had diesel fuel and oil petroleum products that are mixed with some of the potatoes," explained Lee Shank, president of Carolina Environmental, who is handling the potato wreckage. "Some of the potatoes we had to either clean or will be disclosed as off-spec food product food waste. It sounds simple but we actually go through [the potatoes] and see where the diesel fuel stopped, and all the potatoes passed that are clean."
Instead of wasting the spuds, maybe Carolina Environmental could donate them to Anonymous Potato, a gag gift website that ships out a spud with any message you like written on it to your best friend or worst enemy.