Truck crash brings fresh surprise

Written by Herald staff November 05, 2012 10:41 am

A Friday morning truck wreck brought a Saturday morning giveaway of fruits, vegetables and flowers to Baker City residents. (Kathy Orr/Baker City Herald)

A Friday morning truck wreck near Farewell Bend was a windfall for Baker City residents.

Superior Towing brought the wreckage to its Baker City garage and opened its doors to community residents Saturday morning. 

People salvaged apples, oranges, bananas , watermelons, avocados, lettuce, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables from the crash.

“Everything you could imagine from soup to nuts,” said Cecil Sangston, Superior Towing manager.

Sangston said the towing company spent about 14 hours clearing the wreckage, beginning about 4 a.m. Friday.

The  crash happened about 2:30 a.m. four miles northwest of Farewell Bend, Oregon State Police Lt. Mark Duncan said in a press release. Driver Rollie Close, 49, of Caldwell, Idaho, was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

The 2006 International truck and its trailer loaded with produce traveled into the center median and when Close overcorrected, the trailer flipped onto its left side, Duncan said. The roof of the trailer split open, spilling its contents onto the ground.

Close was cited on a charge of failing to drive within a lane, Duncan said.

The trucking company turned the produce over to Superior Towing, which opened its doors to the community about 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sangston said.

“The truck owner said the produce was to be disposed of and that’s what we did,” he said.

Donn Christy, Superior Towing owner, stopped by McDonald’s where his parents, Don and Betty Christy, were having breakfast Saturday morning, and the word spread from there, Sangston said. Groups and organizations, including area food banks, as well as individuals were called to the giveaway.

By about 10:30 a.m. everything was cleared out.

“When they were done, I don’t think there was a grape left on the floor,” Sangston said.