A failure of the tractor-trailer’s brakes are what caused a rather spectacular truck accident in West Pensacola at about 2 p.m. on August 5. The Pensacola News Journal called the wreck of a semi-truck carrying more than 39,000 pounds of shredded pizza cheese “an asphalt-crust cheese pizza, minus the sauce.”
Driver Singh Jaspal, 53, of Clovis, California, was hauling a trailer-load of white, five-cheese blend destined for a Little Caesars Pizza restaurant. He was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 near the Alabama border when the truck accident occurred.
When the brakes on the trailer failed, Jaspal was able to quickly disconnect the bobcat tractor from the trailer and pull away before the wrecked trailer burst into flame. He escaped without injury and was not cited for the incident.
The semi-trailer, which was virtually torn in half by the crash, ignited and burned long enough for the majority of the bagged cheese to melt all over the highway. Other drivers reported a nauseating smell of bubbling pizza cheese mixed with burned rubber.
The gooey mess had to be scooped from the Interstate by a front-end loader and deposited in a large container on the road’s shoulder, which took more than six hours. The damage to the trailer and the lost cheese is estimated at around $30,000.
Both of the eastbound lanes of 1-10 were blocked off during the fire and cleanup, which lasted through rush hour. Traffic was diverted to the shoulder in order to allow evening traffic to move at all. Traffic remained slow until as late as 8 p.m.
According to the PNJ, other motorists pointed and laughed as traffic crept past the charred semi-trailer and the cheesy mess.
“Flames serve up freeway fondue” (Pensacola News Journal, August 6, 2010)