Truck overturns on I-40 West

Truck overturns on I-40 West; Second Harvest, Salvation Army benefit

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A tractor-trailer truck blocked an on-ramp to James White Parkway. (source: TDOT Smartway camera) A tractor-trailer truck blocked an on-ramp to James White Parkway. (source: TDOT Smartway camera)

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A wreck on Interstate 40 West in Knoxville Sunday turned into an early Christmas gift for two local charities.

A semi-truck carrying perishable food overturned around 10:30 a.m. on the roadway and blocked the James White Parkway on-ramp.

Knoxville police say the driver and a passenger in the semi were not injured.

The truck carrying hundreds of cases of pork couldn't continue on to its original destination.

To help clear the road, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and the Salvation Army were called.  Workers from both organizations assisted in the clean up efforts and were able to collect food for their charitable programs.

The incident was cleared by 3 p.m.

Leaders of the two charities said they were grateful for the food, which will be used immediately.

"You're kind of, of course, concerned about was anybody injured and what does it look like? And when we got down there, the cases were all over the highway, but the majority of it was salvageable," said Second Harvest Food Bank Executive Director Elaine Streno. "We were just so thrilled that some of our Second Harvest team got there quickly. Our trucks got there and it's now back at our warehouse."

Streno estimates the portion of food they were able to store in their warehouse freezer is worth about 50,000 meals. It took two trucks to get it to the warehouse.

"Our partners are going to be thrilled, because this isn't something we order. This is donated product. Sadly enough, and accident caused a donation, but we're going to be able to distribute it to our partners, so we're really excited about that," Streno said.

Director of Development Jonathan Haskell said the Salvation Army is going to put their share to use as early as Monday.

"We had a couple of employees spring into action and the only vehicle they had available was a 12-passenger van," Haskell said. "So they took it over to the exit there at James White Parkway and began just loading as much as they could."

The employees got 39 cases into the van. There wasn't enough space to store any more than that.

"We normally serve about 150-200 people each meal. We do that three times a day, 365 days a year, so that meat will go right in to our normal menu," Haskell added.

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