Spilled carcasses leave I-5 traffic a mess

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Interstate 5 near Northgate was a big mess yesterday afternoon after a truck carrying animal carcasses spilled its load on the roadway.

The innards, bones and carcasses began falling off the truck somewhere around Northeast 130th Street and were strewn along the freeway until the driver pulled over around Northeast 50th Street, when he apparently realized he was losing his load, State Patrol spokeswoman Monica Hunter said.

"Yes, it stinks," Hunter said. "And it's slippery."

No one was injured, but a backhoe needed to be summoned to clean up the mess, which was scooped into plastic bags. Department of Transportation workers sanded the road to improve traction.

Hunter said she did not know the name of the company that owned the truck. The driver likely was cited for carrying an unsecured load - a $75 fine - and might have been cited for other things, too, she said.

"It's against the law to lose your load," Hunter said.

A similar incident occurred last year, when two trucks operated by Baker Commodities, a rendering plant in Tukwila, lost their loads the same day. One dropped seven 55-gallon drums of recyclable cooking oil between Pike and University streets. The other lost part of a load of cow entrails on I-5 at the Ship Canal Bridge.

Several southbound lanes of I-5 were closed because of yesterday's incident, which occurred about 1:30 p.m. The lanes were reopened by 3 p.m.

Eli Sanders can be reached at 206- 748-5815 or esanders@ seattletimes.com. Dave Birkland can be reached at 206-515-5682 or dbirkland@seattletimes.com.