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Crash on Oregon highway spills 7,500 pounds of live slime eels over roadway

Slime eels spill across Oregon's Highway 101

A truck carrying live slime eels crashed on Highway 101, spilling slime and the animals across the road.
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A truck carrying live slime eels crashed on Highway 101, spilling slime and the animals across the road.

A truck carrying live hagfish, otherwise called slime eels, overturned Thursday on Highway 101, south of Depoe Bay, Oregon, spilling the fish -- and their slime -- all over the road and onto nearby vehicles.

The crash occurred around noon when a 1993 Mitsubishi truck, driven by Salvatore J. Tragale, 59, of Lincoln City, was northbound on HWY 101. When Tragale approached road construction, an Oregon Department of Transportation flagger was unable to stop him.

The Mitsubishi was loaded with thirteen containers, containing a combined 7,500 pounds of hagfish, better known as slime eels. The transfer of weight caused one of the containers to come off the truck bed and fly across the highway into the southbound lane. The other containers separated from the bed of the truck and spilled onto the highway.

As a result, the flat bed completely separated from frame of the truck, according to Oregon State Police.

When the container struck the southbound vehicles, it caused a chain reaction pushing four vehicles into each other. There were only minor injuries reported from first vehicle, a Nissan.

The first vehicle struck by the container was a 2017 Nissan driven by Kim Randall, 64, of Sun Lakes, Arizona. The Nissan was pushed backward into a brown Honda CRV, driven by Rachel A. Craven, 37, of Toledo. The CRV then pushed into a white Ford Focus driven by Kristine Torp, 33, from Norway, and her passenger Melissa Waage, 30, also from Norway.

Finally, the Focus pushed into a 2017 Ford F150 driven by Kevin White, 67, of Tigard, and his passengers Brandon White, 31, and Donna White, 70, both from Tigard.

Officials reported that when hagfish become stressed, they secrete a slime, which then spread across the road and vehicles.

Depoe Bay Fire crews assisted cleaning up the highway by hosing the hagfish and slime off the roadway.

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