June 2nd, 2006

Allah Sulu-South Park

Spilled Liquor Makes Road Slicker

(Tribune Chronicle) LORDSTOWN – It wasn't precisely a happy hour for motorists on the Ohio Turnpike in Trumbull County Thursday when the booze flowed but traffic didn't. Traffic slowed almost to a halt as crews from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Turnpike commission scooped up gallons of a malt beverage spilled Thursday morning across the westbound and eastbound lanes.

I'll bet college students could have cleaned it up a lot faster. Hell, I'll bet I could have, armed with just a straw.

The driver of a tractor-trailer hauling a full load of bottles of Smirnoff Ice lost control of his truck just before 6 a.m., crashing into a concrete barrier wall on the median just west of the Lordstown interchange, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Totally unfair. Less than two days earlier, I was on that very same stretch of highway.

The load the truck was carrying spilled onto both lanes of the highway, resulting in a cleanup that lasted until about 4 p.m., Lauren Hakos of the Turnpike Commission said.

At 4, they declared it Happy Hour!

Highway Patrol Trooper Chris Barnes said he did not know how many bottles were on the truck, but when he arrived at 2 p.m., he said there was a stack of boxes as high as the median wall and that was only a small portion of what was on the truck.

I really need advance warning of when these things are about to happen.

While no detour was posted, some drivers took alternate routes through Mahoning County to get around the spill.

Wusses.

The driver of the truck, 54-year-old Thomas McNutt of Erie, Pa., was flown by helicopter to St. Elizabeth Health Center for treatment of his injuries. He was in stable condition Thursday night, according to a hospital spokeswoman. McNutt was charged with failure to control, troopers said. They are still investigating the crash, and aren't sure why the driver lost control of the truck.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the truckload of booze.