Semi accident spills watermelons off of I-5 near Grandview

Published on Tue, May 3, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Washington State Department of Transportation crews work to transfer about 20 tons of watermelon from a crashed semi off of I-5 near exit 266 on Tuesday, May 3. Photo by Jeremy Schwartz


Washington State Patrol responded to an accident involving a semi truck carrying about 20 tons of watermelons in the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 3.

The semi was traveling northbound on I-5 at about 4:30 a.m. when it left the right side of the road just south of exit 266 and tipped over on its right side, state patrol public information officer Mark Francis said. The Yakima-based driver, 47-year-old Armando Badillio, was uninjured. State troopers suspect Badillo did not follow the curve of I-5 and ended up in a large ditch on the side of the highway.

The semi was carrying 41,000 pounds of watermelon from Arizona bound for Canada, Francis explained. State patrol is still investigating the cause of the accident but does not suspect drugs or alcohol were factors. 

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crews worked through Tuesday morning to transfer the watermelons to another semi truck. WSDOT completely closed the right lane of that portion of I-5 as the crashed semi was righted and the watermelons were transferred to the other truck.

Visit our Facebook page to see more photos of the clean up.