Originally created 06/02/04

Truckload of eggs closes Texas highway



BELLAIRE, Texas -- A truck carrying 30,000 pounds of eggs spilled its contents off a Houston-area overpass early Monday, shutting down a highway and leaving a smelly mess behind for cleanup crews.

The accident happened about 2:30 a.m. when an 18-wheeler ran into some plastic barrels along the Interstate 610 loop. As the trailer went up onto the rails of the overpass, the eggs were sent tumbling onto an unoccupied Transportation Department truck parked at a construction site below.

Police believe the truck's driver may have fallen asleep. The driver, whose name was not immediately released, broke his nose, but no other injuries were reported.

"There must have been 50 cases of eggs that landed on that (parked) truck, crushed the cab and broke the windshield," said Gary Babb, a supervisor in charge of the cleanup.

Environmental workers spent the day cleaning up the mess, trying not to slip on egg yolks as they worked. A special substance was used to battle the smell and soak up spilled fuel.

It took more than 14 hours to clean up the spill and reopen the highway. Babb's co-workers brought food to keep the crew's energy up, but he didn't exactly appreciate it.

"They brought us scrambled eggs, you believe that?" Babb said. "Sick sense of humor, these people."