On September 5th, things were going as planned for Thomas Young, 58, of Indiana. Driving a milk tanker down Hermitage Road, Pa. in the late afternoon, he didn't think that picking up his Dr. Pepper for a quick swig of carbonation and sugar would cause him to choke on the drink, lose control of the rig, and crash into a car dealership. But lo and behold, that's exactly what arriving Hermitage police saw: the tanker, having jumped the curb and swerved through a grassy area, had managed to damage 23 brand new cars from the Montrose Buick-GMC-Cadillac dealership. One of those unlucky 23 was actually situated inside the showroom and was hit by another for-sale car that had been pushed into the building by the crash. The (Sharon) Herald reports that Young was "cited for careless driving", and the crash certainly brings a sugary twist to the phrase, "Don't Drink and Drive".
This is one very recent unusual car crash story but believe it or not, this story joins a long history of car crashes involving weird props, bizarre circumstances, and luckily, no extreme injuries. Here to join Mr. Young in the crazy crash parade, we have:
1. Chickens CrossingAnother recent road incident in Pennsylvania was a block that occurred when a tractor-trailer loaded with chickens and driven by the unfortunate Mr. Chester Bowser didn't make a turn in Dauphin Country, PA. Local CBS 21 News reported no injuries, despite the truck having burst into flames, but the detour closed the road going East to West for about an hour. Chickens were scattered about the highway, clearly out of their element as workers grabbed them and hurried them away on their journey to who knows where. I'd speculate they were on their way to be made into various chicken products and like to think some escaped into the Pennsylvania wilderness and are now living quite happily.
2. Dropped by for a swim
Sticking with the Pennsylvania theme here, one peaceful afternoon this past January at the Ridley Area YMCA in Secane, PA was shattered when an elderly woman hit the gas instead of the breaks and slammed through a wall into the pool area of the local gym. NBC Philadelphia says neither the woman or the few swimmers in the pool, suffered any major injuries. Rather, they were just surprised to suddenly see a window where there was once a wall. So surprised, perhaps, that I imagine some were grateful the "purple pool water" rumor is a lie.
3. Hot dogs, anyone?
While this next accident doesn't involve quite so much damage and debris, it does make you chuckle. In February of 2015, a vehicle the Chicago Tribune describes as an "iconic" Oscar Mayer Weinermobile--an impressive 27 feet long-- ended up entangled with a pole in Enola, PA. Pennsylvania, I love you, but your oddball car accidents are driving me crazy. (Pun 100% intended.) Again, nobody was injured, but I doubt they sold many hot dogs that day. Pictured below is not the crashed Weinermobile (although a quick google image search for that did provide me with a few laughs) but rather, one that is up and running and bringing joy in the form of hot dogs to all the good boys and girls.
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4. An accident saved his life
Similar to our Dr. Pepper trucker, one Richard M. Paylor also choked while driving a tractor-trailer and crashed. However, he was choking on an apple, and while the crash did hold up traffic for several hours according toReading Eagle, it also saved his life. A blackout caused him to be leaning over the steering wheel as the truck headed for the meridian. The impact of the wheel on Paylor's chest was enough to send the apple chunk up and out of his airway. That's not exactly the same story as Snow White, but the connection is definitely there. And luckily, like that famous fairy tale, this story has a happy ending as well: nobody walked away with any non-treatable injuries.
5. Save the puppies!
Now, this next one does regrettably contain some fatality, but with the size and type of crash, it has to be expected. A van containing many furry bundles of joy (it was loaded up with puppies) crashed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on June 17th this summer. NBC Philadelphia was able to confirm that 78 of those adorable munchkins did survive the crash and the chaos that ensued. That many puppies loose on a road of that size, even at 4:30 a.m., is definitely a hectic sight to behold. I'm sad to say that two of the puppies did not make it, but the others are back on their journeys to find a home, and have been placed in pet stores and shelters. While some drivers did sustain injuries, none were major. The only major thing happening was a ton of confused puppies running into each other on the turnpike like tiny fuzzy bumper cars.
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6. Oh, and the piglets too!
I'm sticking with the theme of animals-in-vehicles-that-have-crashed because apparently it's a winner. Meaning, a lot more of these crashes have happened than you might think. I'd like to be able to say that a truck filled with 2,200 piglets crashed in Pennsylvania, too, but that'd just be too weird. Nope, those little piggies were fleeing to the market in Ohio. June 8th turned out to be a real oinker of a day for Route 35 in Xenia, OH, because the truck that tipped just happened to be loaded with baby pigs. Again, with a crash involving so many little animal lives, it pains me to say that approximately 200-300 piglets were either killed or lost in the incident, according to NBC News. However, a charming 1,500 were successfully "wrangled" and plopped back into transport, and they wound up at the county fairgrounds: AKA Piggy Hospital. Speaking of hospitals, one passenger in the truck did have to be treated at one, but the real injuries mainly happened to those with snouts.
7. Because, sharks.
Lastly, we have the quintessential Florida story. It seems to be that if one state has had something out of the ordinary occur in it, Florida has one-upped them. In this case, that theory is not only upheld, it is upheld by fins and tails, and oh yeah, teeth. A truck full o sharks was caught up in a storm and crashed on the side of I-95 in Volusia Country earlier this year on July 1st. News 13 reported that SeaWorld dispatched a rescue team to come to the aid of the sandbar sharks, one of which did die in the crash. The image below is of one of the sharks in a hammock-like contraption used to transport the sharks out of the damaged truck and into a new one. The sharks were supposed to be headed all the way up to New York before the crash occurred. We all know cars are dangerous...maybe next time they should just have them swim up? Chaperoned, of course.
So see, Thomas Young? You're not alone in the world of wacky car accidents, and at least your truck was loaded up with milk, and not actual cows, like this one:
The important thing to remember is that nobody got hurt, and that's what really matters. What's a few damaged cars here or there? And if nobody will buy them, I totally know somebody (me) who will take one off your hands for free. I wouldn't mind a puppy, either, but keep those sharks away from me, please and thank you.