42,000 pounds of honey spilled on 605 Freeway

March 24, 2014

INDUSTRY (CNS) – A big rig carrying 42,000 pounds of honey jackknifed on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway Monday, spilling its sticky load just north of the Pomona (60) Freeway and backing up northbound traffic for miles.

The accident in northbound lanes was reported about 2 p.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball said, adding that the driver was uninjured.

All but one northbound lane was closed at first, Kimball said. About 90 minutes later, a second northbound lane was opened.

Authorities were trying to keep the honey from running into storm drains, county fire Inspector Tony Akins said. Firefighters wrapped up their end of the job by about 4 p.m., but a hazardous materials team remained on scene, he said.

Akins said he anticipated Caltrans sending dispatching steam-cleaning and vacuum trucks to loosen, then suck up the mess.

“If we ever get rain again, that would help,” Akins said.  A 50 percent chance of rain is forecast for Wednesday.

The accident occurred near San Jose Creek, which feeds into the San Gabriel River. Akins said he was unaware of any threat honey might pose to river creatures. In a similar spill, he recalled, milk got into a waterway, depleting oxygen levels.

“I would imagine honey is thick and viscous and not very good for them either,”  he said.