The driver of a tractor-trailer carrying meat fell asleep on Thursday morning before smashing into a truck hauling onions, causing food to spill all over southbound Interstate 95 and blocking the highway for hours, according to officials. Florida Highway Patrol troopers said the crash happened at around 3 a.m. near State Road 44 in New Smyrna, Florida.
Troopers said the truck hauling refrigerated meat rear-ended the truck hauling onions, which caused the trailer to come apart, spilling one ton of 50 lb bags of onions all over the interstate. The driver of the meat truck, 38-year-old Pierre McClain, of Hialeah, Fl., told troopers that he fell asleep before striking the rear of the onion truck driven by 56-year-old Leonel Vazquez-Suarez, of North Carolina.
"It's not a pretty sight,” said Mitch Henderson, of FHP. Vazquez- Suarez was not injured, according to FHP. But McClain was trapped inside the smashed semi cab and had to be cut out by emergency responders. He was then airlifted to Halifax Hospital. "He's in stable condition. I think he's got a couple broken ribs and a broken femur," said Henderson.
"We are still investigating that right now we are trying to clean everything up so we can get some measurements and stuff so it's still under investigation," said Henderson. The clean-up is more difficult than most because one ton of onions are on the road and once that is cleaned up, crews have to mop up the diesel fuel spill and repair the damage to the road. FHP said charges are pending against McClain.