Crime - Sacto 911

Spilled prunes snarl traffic on Highway 99 in Sutter County

Traffic on a section of Highway 99 in Sutter County was disrupted for more than two hours Tuesday morning after crates of prunes spilled onto the roadway.

The incident occurred about 9:10 a.m. as Tejpartar Singh, 20, of Yuba City was driving a big rig with two trailers loaded with crates of prunes northbound on Highway 99 approaching the sweeping right curve at Lomo Crossing, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. At the same time, Mary Ellen Meeks, 57, of Biggs was traveling south in a 2003 Toyota Corolla and entered the left-turn pocket to turn onto southbound Live Oak Boulevard.

As the big rig entered the curve, the improperly secured crates of prunes shifted on the first trailer, causing a cable to come loose, according to the CHP. The load broke free and 10 crates of prunes were thrown from the trailer. One of the falling crates stuck the front bumper of the Toyota, damaging the vehicle. The remaining crates scattered all over the southbound lane of Highway 99, CHP officials said.

Traffic was limited to one lane through the site to allow cleanup and investigation of incident. The CHP reported that the road was fully reopened at 11:37 a.m.