Does The Interstate 86 Banana Truck Crash Remind You Of Anything?
As I was searching the good old internet, I ran across a new article from Emira's WENY-TV about a tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 86/Route 17 near the hamlet of Lowman in Chemung County between exits 57 and 58 on October 3rd.
But it wasn't just the fact that a truck had overturned on the highway, it was what it was carrying. 40,000 pounds of bananas to be precise. For those of you who are old enough to remember, the first thing that comes to mind is, the Harry Chapin song '30,000 Pounds of Bananas.'
That song, as you may or may not remember, was also about a truck carrying bananas heading into Scranton, Pennsylvania, losing control and crashing. For the crash in Chemung County, fortunately, the driver only suffered minor cuts and bruises according to WENY-TV.
The crash in Scranton had a much worse ending. According to the song lyrics and a 2001 article in the Scranton Times-Leader, the truck driver was new to his job and this was only his second run, delivering 15 tons of bananas from New Jersey to Scranton.
As the story goes, the truck driver was heading down the steep Moosic Street into Scranton and lost his brakes. The Times-Leader article mentions how the driver basically became a hero by climbing onto the truck's running board, and alerting residents along the roadway, while at the same time trying to steer the truck out of harm's way.
The Times-Leader article states that over a dozen people were injured, but unfortunately, the driver did not survive the crash. Harry Chapin heard of the story from a passenger on a bus he was riding from Ithaca to New York City via Scranton as they climbed that same road.
Harry added some things in the song that didn't happen in the accident. For example, he says the driver lost his head, but the Times-Leader article, it states that the driver did not lose his head in the crash.
The Times-Leader article gives a true account of the crash as told by a former Scranton Police Chief who was on the scene. It's an interesting and sad story.
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