Personal Injury

Truck loaded with watermelons crashes on Arizona desert highway

A tractor trailer laden with watermelons overturned on Highway 68 near Bullhead City, Arizona, Tuesday, spilling its cargo across a long stretch of the road and injuring the driver.

According to the Mohave Daily News, driver Jose Alcides Rios of Houston, Texas, was taken to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released following the crash that totaled his flatbed trailer and crushed his cab. Police responding to the scene don’t know for certain what caused Mr. Rios’ truck to overturn, but the crash remains under investigation.

“The road turned and he didn’t,” Bullhead City police officer John Cartlidge told the Mohave Daily News. Officer Cartlidge said that Mr. Rios was approaching the intersection of McCormick Boulevard near Davis Camp when he lost control of the vehicle. The crash left the trailer hanging off an embankment on the edge of the road.

Interestingly, the Mohave Daily News reports that the crash “was in the same general area as several others involving tractor-trailer rigs in recent years. Trucks hauling beer and bottle water have crashed in almost the exact same location.”

As officer Cartlidge put it to the Mohave Daily News, “We’ve had all sorts of fun on this stretch of road.”

The crash prompted one local Bullhead City Council member to denounce a plan that would reroute more commercial truck activity through Bullhead City.

“As this accident proves, anyone can misjudge the steepness of the mountain grades coming into Bullhead City even though veteran truck drivers used this route for nearly a decade,” Council Member Sam Medrano said in a written statement, expressing concerns that people could be seriously hurt or killed if heavy commercial trucks are routed through the more populated sections of Bullhead City.

The westbound section of the highway was closed for four hours as crews worked to clear the truck and debris from the road. A Hazmat unit was also dispatched to the scene when the truck began leaking fuel.