Frozen soda closes West Shore Bypass for several hours

Soda spill result of crash beween 2 tractor trailers in Exeter, police say

Frozen soda closes West Shore Bypass for several hours

EXETER TWP., Pa. - An accident involving two tractor trailers resulted in a load of spilled soda freezing on the highway overnight, police said.

The accident happened just after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in the westbound lanes of the West Shore Bypass -- Route 422 -- near the Interstate 176 interchange in Exeter Twp., Berks Co.

"I knew it had to be bad or they don't call," said Vince James, owner of V&M Towing Service in Ontelaunee Township.

One of the tractor trailers had either slowed or stopped in the right-hand travel lane, police said. The second tractor trailer, approaching from behind, swerved to avoid impact, but its trailer hit the rear of the first truck, police said.

The trailer of the struck truck then broke apart and spilled hundreds of gallons of soda onto the highway.

"Root beer, white birch beer, fruit punch, ginger ale," said James.

The frigid temperatures turned the spilled soda into ice and slush within minutes, officials said.

"On the bridge with no blockage, no trees, wind. The wind chill was probably below zero, I'm sure," said James. "It was about a three hour deal for cleanup. Totally, we were there for about five hours," said James.

Cleanup of the mess kept the westbound bypass closed to traffic until about 6 a.m.

"We used skid loader and a bucket and scraped it, and PennDOT came after we left. They came, cindered and salted. Long day, that's for sure," said James.

No one was injured in the accident.

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Allentown, PA 18102


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