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Apr-07-2009 13:30printcomments

Burrito Blamed in Salem Freeway Semi-Truck Crash (PHOTOS)

Police say a 'Breakfast Burrito' was a contributing factor in truck crash that halted traffic on Interstate 5 south of Wolf Creek Monday. Really.

Photos of the crash scene: ODOT and Oregon State Police
Photos of the crash scene: ODOT and Oregon State Police

(SALEM, Ore.) - A reach for a ‘breakfast burrito' was blamed by a commercial truck driver as the reason for losing control on Interstate 5 south of Wolf Creek and overturning, spilling a load of joists across the freeway, police say.

Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Ken Snook says Monday at approximately 11:26 a.m. a 2003 Kenworth truck pulling a trailer loaded with 60-foot "BCI Joists" operated by 62-year old Bradley Lavery Ruonavaara of Murphy, Oregon was northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 74 entering a right curve.

That's when the hot sauce hit the fan, so to speak.

Snook said, "Ruonavaara reportedly reached down for a ‘breakfast burrito' and drifted toward the center line. He tried to correct his line of travel and lost control, causing the load to shift and the truck and trailer to overturn."

He says the overturned truck came to rest across the right northbound lane and shoulder.

"The overturned trailer and spilled load blocked both northbound lanes and the southbound lanes."

With the help of several citizens, Snook said the southbound lanes were cleared of debris to allow for the lanes to be re-opened.

The northbound lanes were closed intermittently throughout the afternoon for recovery efforts.

Ruonavaara was transported by Rural Metro ambulance to Three Rivers Community Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was cited by Oregon State Police for Violation of the Basic Rule.

ODOT, Wolf Creek Fire Department and Caveman Towing responded and assisted at the scene.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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