Tow Shop Turns Wreck Into Farmers Market

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Overturned Produce Would Have Been Tossed


BAKER CITY, OR – After a tractor trailer carrying grocery and produce items overturned last month near the small town of Farewell Bend, Oregon, the towing firm handling the recovery dispersed the merchandise to area residents and charities at no charge.   

Tow Shop Distributes Produce After Wreck

The owners of the truck had agreed, as dealing with the displaced merchandise brought several complications. Much of it could not be returned to store shelves due to safety guidelines.

The driver of the tractor trailer, Rollie Close, was not seriously injured when his truck flipped around 2:30 a.m. According to police, Close, 49, had overcorrected after veering into another lane, causing the truck to topple over.  The trailer roof had split and immediately released the cargo on to highway. 

“Everything you could imagine from soup to nuts,” said Cecil Sangston, manager at Superior Towing, speaking with the Baker City Herald.

Almost immediately people began salvaging the produce, everything from undamaged watermelons to unripened bananas.

The truck’s owners turned the merchandise over to Superior Towing, which then delivered it to their garage in Baker City.  Meanwhile crews continued clearing the accident scene, which would take over 12 hours.

Close would ultimately be ticketed by police for failing to drive within a lane.

Back in Baker City, word spread fast about the free farmers market, and calls were quickly made to area homeless shelters and food banks.

“The truck owner said the produce was to be disposed of,” Superior owner Donn Christy said, “and that’s what we did.”

In less then three hours, every item had been claimed.

“When they were done, I don’t think there was a grape left on the floor,” Sangston said.

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