Semi Truck Spills Frozen Turkeys on Bay Area Highway – Now Homeless Will Get ‘Em


*They say one person’s loss is another persons’ gain? Well that was definitely the case when a semi-truck carrying up to 30,000 pounds of frozen Butterball turkeys flipped over after trying to make a sharp turn and spilled diesel and thousands of Thanksgiving meals headed for Costco.

But stores can’t sell food that has spilled on the road (the turkeys remained safe in cardboard boxes)  so the poultry is headed to the Alameda County Food Bank in Oakland, where the homeless will be fed, according to spokesman Michael Altfest. Some of the turkeys will be shared with shelters in Contra Costa County, too.

“This is a fantastic windfall as our Food Bank heads into one of the busiest times of year,” Altfest  said. “Receiving this volume of meat protein is rare for us any time of year – and a donation like this simply couldn’t come at a better time. This is going to add a significant helping of holiday joy to thousands of households throughout our community.”

They received the turkeys before noon on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately an accident happened, and fortunately low-income people in both Alameda County and Contra Costa County are going to benefit,” added Suzan Bateson, executive director of the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

The semi truck driver “got confused” when he was traveling on Interstate Highway 680 in San Ramon about 2:30 a.m. according to what California Highway Patrol Sgt. Joseph Azevedo told NBC Bay Area . He originally tried to take the I-580 interchange, but ended up taking the Alcosta Boulevard ramp instead.

He was said to have rounded the ramp that he was unfamiliar with at a “high rate of speed” causing his rear trailer to spin out of control, Azavedo said. He hit the brakes but wasn’t able to prevent his rig from hitting the guardrail, he said. Between 20 and 40 gallons of diesel spilled on the road, shutting it down for hours.

Azevedo said the driver, who suffered minor injuries, was trapped inside with the co-driver and had to be extricated by San Ramon Valley firefighters.

The turkeys were supposed to go to a Costco store in Livermore ultimately, but was headed to a wholesale distributor at the time of the accident.

Another  freak accident in July caused a spillage of 60,000 pounds of African jackfruit and bananas on the side of Interstate Highway 580 in Livermore. This too became food for others; this time it fed elephants, giraffes and bears at the Oakland Zoo.

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