Section of Highway 101 covered in slime after eel truck rollover - KPTV - FOX 12

Section of Highway 101 covered in slime after eel truck rollover

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Oregon State Police Oregon State Police

Oregon State Police, along with other local agencies, encountered a slimy sight on Highway 101 Thursday after a portion of the roadway became covered in eels.

Troopers responded to a rollover that happened just after noon at milepost 131 in Lincoln County. A seafood livestock truck driven by 59-year-old Salvatore J. Tragale of Lincoln City has headed north when he came upon traffic stopped for highway construction.

Investigators said Tragale was unable to stop the truck, which was loaded with 13 containers of hagfish, commonly known as slime eels, with a net weight of 7500 pounds. One of the containers flew across the highway into the southbound lane, and the others came off of the truck bed and spilled onto the highway as the flatbed came off the frame of the truck.

Erin Butler of McMinnville witnessed the crash and told FOX 12 that the scene was unbelievable.

“We were like, ‘What is that?’ And then you realize, 'The poor eels.' They were writhing and slimy, and it was unbelievable, just unbelievable,” she said. “It was disgusting. I will definitely never, ever eat eel.”

A post shared by Erin Butler (@erinabutler) on

The container in the southbound lane caused a chain reaction with four vehicles hitting each other after the first hit the container.

The driver of the first vehicle, 64-year-old Kim Randall of Sun Lakes, Arizona, reported having only minor injuries. Her vehicle was pushed into a Honda CRV driving by 37-year-old Rachel A. Craven of Toledo. 

The CRV was pushed into a Ford Focus being driven 33-year-old  Kristine Torp of Norway, who was accompanied by 30-year-old Melissa Waage, also of Norway. The Focus was pushed into a Ford F-150 pickup driven y 67-year-old Kevin White of Tigard, who was accompanied by 70-year-old Donna White and 31-year-old Brandon White, both of Tigard.

The Oregon Department of Transportation called the incident a "slippery situation" and said it was advising drivers to use other routes or expect delays. 

The Depoe Bay Fire Department helped with the cleanup, which had the highway back open by 4:30 p.m.

According to Oregon State Police, the truck was transporting the eels to be shipped to Korea for consumption.  

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