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Salsa and CHiPs Add Zest But Cause Commute Crunch

June 17, 1987

There was plenty of salsa--14,400 pounds--but the only chips to be found were the kind in uniforms--CHiPs, as in California Highway Patrol officers.

That was the scene on Interstate 5 in San Clemente early Tuesday after a van carrying hot salsa overturned just north of the Avenida Pico off-ramp. No one was reported injured. The accident blocked the two right northbound lanes from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., a CHP spokesman said.

The 18-foot van was upright with only a flat tire when a tow truck arrived to help. But while the rescue rig was executing a U-turn on the freeway shoulder with the salsa van in tow, the tow cable snapped. The van tipped over, spilling out 6-pound cans of the spicy stuff.

A second tow truck had to be called.

"No Frito-Lay truck came by," one officer observed.

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