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Tons of Broccoli Hit the Road -- and Commute Vegetates

January 01, 2003|Daniel Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

Here's another reason to hate broccoli.

About 43,000 pounds of the vegetable spilled from an overturned big rig early Tuesday and snarled rush-hour traffic at an interchange between the southbound Golden State and eastbound San Bernardino freeways.

Broccoli heads blanketed the curving two-lane interchange just south of Mission Avenue near Lincoln Heights, where the trailer toppled on its side and ripped open at 4:30 a.m.Traffic was backed up at the interchange Tuesday morning as workers cleared it up. Some drivers got onto surface streets to get to the eastbound San Bernardino Freeway, California Highway Patrol officers said.

The speed limit at the interchange is 35 mph, but CHP officers could not say whether the driver was exceeding the limit, citing an incomplete investigation.

Driver Max Weisen was not hurt in the accident, but he was a little stunned.

"It just flipped over. I wasn't going very fast," Weisen said.

The cargo was on its way from farms near Santa Maria, Calif., in the Central Coast region to a warehouse in Holtville, Calif., a small town in Imperial County.

California Department of Transportation crews had most of the mess cleared up by noon.

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