Truck hauling eels flips on Hwy. 101; cars coated with slime

OSP describes crash details; road fully open

DEPOE BAY, Ore. (AP) - A truck hauling eels overturned on an Oregon highway, turning the coastal road into a slimy mess.

Oregon State Police on Thursday posted a photo on Twitter that showed damaged cars covered by the gooey eels. The agency also posed the question: "What to tell the #drycleaner?"

Meanwhile, the Depoe Bay Fire Department posted a video of workers using a bulldozer to clear the eels from Highway 101.

The fire department said no one was injured in the crash.

The road was reduced to one lane for a time Thursday afternoon.


Oregon State Police later released a news release on the crash:

On July 13, 2017 at 12:00 PM, Oregon State Police and emergency workers responded to US Highway 101 near milepost 131 for a semi-truck versus five-vehicle minor injury crash. 

The 1993 Mitsubishi truck was being driven by Salvatore J. Tragale (age 59 from Lincoln City), was traveling northbound on US Highway 101. Tragale was approaching roadway construction being completed by the Oregon Department of Transportation. An ODOT flagger had northbound traffic stopped and Tragale was unable to stop the vehicle. The Mitsubishi was loaded with 13 containers of a net weight of 7,500 pounds of hagfish (commonly known as slime eels). 

The transfer of weight caused one of the containers to come off the truck bed and fly across the highway into the southbound lane. The other containers separated from the bed of the truck and spilled onto the highway. As a result, the flatbed completely separated from the frame of the truck. 

When the container struck the southbound vehicles, it caused a chain reaction, pushing four vehicles into each other. Fortunately, there were only minor injuries reported from first vehicle (Nissan). The first vehicle to be struck by the container was a 2017 Nissan driven by Kim Randall (age 64 from Sun Lakes, Arizona). The Nissan was pushed backward into a brown Honda CRV, driven by Rachel A. Craven (age 37 from Toledo). 

The CRV pushed into a white Ford Focus driven by Kristine Torp (age 33 from Norway) and her passenger Melissa Waage (age 30 from Norway). Finally the Focus pushed into a 2017 Ford F150 driven by Kevin White (age 67 from Tigard) and his passengers Brandon White (age 31 from Tigard) and Donna White (age 70 from Tigard). 

When Hagfish become stressed, they secrete a slime, which can be seen in the photos on the vehicles and on the highway. Depoe Bay Fire worked at cleaning up the highway by hosing the Hagfish and slime off the roadway. Highway 101 is now open.

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