50,000 Pound Potato Crash: Trucker Feared He’d Be Arrested For Pulling Over To Sleep

Potato Truck Crash

A trucker admits that he fell asleep and crashed this morning, spilling 50,000 pounds of potatoes onto the interstate — and the reason he says that he didn’t stop when he felt sleepy is cause for concern.

Trucker Fell Asleep, Spilling Potatoes Onto Road

The crash happened around 2 a.m. on I-77 in Charlotte, North Carolina. According to State Troopers, the Utah-based trucker admitted that he fell asleep and crashed into a concrete barrier. His truck overturned and spilled his load of potatoes onto the interstate, causing “sludge-like” road conditions. The truck crashed with so much force that the engine was ejected from the truck.

The truck driver suffered only minor injuries. He was transported to a nearby hospital.

Driver Feared He’d Be Arrested For Parking And Resting

The truck driver told the troopers that he did not pull over to rest because he’d heard that North Carolina was arresting truckers who pulled over on I-77 to sleep. He said that he tried to make it through the state in order to avoid trouble with the law.

It turns out he had reason to be concerned about parking off of I-77.

Troopers Enforced Obscure No Parking Law, Reportedly At Request Of Campaign Donor

Last November, CDLLife reported on the North Carolina Highway Patrol’s aggressive enforcement of an obscure no-parking law that targeted truckers sleeping on the on and off ramps of I-77. In a three month period, troopers handed out 261 citations to parked truckers — up from only 71 parking tickets the entire year before. The citations were over $200 each.

North Carolina’s campaign to target parked truckers reportedly stemmed from campaign contributions from a local businessman and winery owner, Charlie Shelton, who made numerous complaints to Governor McCrory’s office about “unsightly” trucks parked near his business.

You can read our full reports on the increased enforcement of the no-parking law here and here.

Sources:
Charlotte Observer
WXII 12
Christian Science Monitor