I-84 wreck gives motorists 7,000 gallons of milk to cry over

See why the commute into Portland — from Gresham, and points east — became a nightmare during the March 1st morning drive. The good moos: No cows were injured …

Hours after the mishap, big-rig tow trucks were still trying to right the toppled milk-carrying tanker trailer.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Eastbound traffic on Interstate 84 was slow mooo-ving on March 1 because of a trucking accident.

At 5:55 am, Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officers, and investigators from the Traffic Division, were called to the scene of a non-injury collision on I-84 westbound near NE 122nd Avenue, involving an overturned milk truck.

Investigators contacted the driver of the truck, 36-year-old Francisco Macias. He told them he had been forced to swerve to avoid a car after it cut in front of him in traffic.

As he swerved, he struck an abandoned vehicle on the side of the roadway.  The jolt from the impact caused the load of milk to shift in the big tanker truck, with the milk’s momentum carrying the second tanker over onto its side, where it ruptured open.

The concrete Jersey Barriers on either side of the lanes contained the milk, making it easier to clean up.

Police allowed one lane of traffic to slowly make its way past the scene of udder desolation – backing up drivers past Troutdale.

On this morning, the “Milky Way” wasn’t in the heavens nor within a tanker truck ‚Äì the bovine product covered the freeway. Cats across east Portland were said to be near tears.

The milk was the property of the Milky Way Corporation of Sunnyside, Washington, but after the washdown and cleanup, they won’t be getting it back.  No one was hurt, and no citations have been issued.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland Mooos Service

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