Soda spill freezes, shuts down PA highway

Jan. 23, 2013

Two tractor-trailers crashed and one of the trailers split in half, spilling its cargo — hundreds of gallons of soda — onto the highway in Reading, PA, Tuesday, shutting down the westbound lanes of the West Shore Bypass for more than five hours.

Police said one of the rigs was hauling 2-liter bottles of soda and driven by Phillip Schmidt, 50, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County. Many of the bottles broke open and the soda gushed onto the road. With frigid overnight temperatures, the liquid froze instantly to the road surface, police said in a Reading Eagle report.

The accident happened about 12:40 a.m. on the Exeter Township side of the Schuylkill River Bridge on Route 422 just east of the I-176 exchange, police said. No one was injured.

A Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation crew was dispatched to assist in the cleanup and to de-ice the highway.

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Deborah Whistler

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