Semi Trailer Full of Apples In Columbia River Kept From Hitting Priest Rapids Dam
You’ve probably heard about the semi-truck wreck up along the Columbia River on Highway 243, not too far North of Priest Rapids Dam in Grant County. The highway runs alongside the river, very close in some areas. The accident has created a new dilemma for the State Patrol, Grant County officials and the Grant County PUD.
According to the Columbia Basin Herald, the trailer from the semi-truck broke loose after it failed to negotiate a curve and rolled down the embankment into the water Tuesday afternoon.
The driver, 44-year-old Richard Hearron of Outlook, was about 1.5 miles south of the hamlet of Schwana when he missed the curve. He was cited for driving too fast for conditions, and suffered some injuries in the crash.
The truck rolled down the steep embankment, the trailer broke off and drifted down the river towards Priest Rapids Dam. Officials feared the large unit, still full of apples, would slam into the dam or damage the intakes. However, PUD and other crews found the trailer grounded on a sandbar in the river, when they were tracking it by boat.
According to officials, it grounded itself a long distance from the dam, and didn’t cause any damage.
It has been since anchored by cables to the shoreline, until crews and figure out how to drag or otherwise get it back to shore. In the meantime, the apples, which likely are helping keep the trailer afloat, will likely rot before it can be retrieved.