Boxes containing approximately 50,000 pounds of cookie dough litter the ground. Credit: CalTrans.

Overturned Truck Spills 50,000 Pounds of Cookie Dough

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We regret to inform you that a semitruck filled with precious cargo — boxes upon boxes of refrigerated cookie dough — overturned on the 15 Freeway yesterday morning. According to a CalTrans spokesperson, the loss amounted to about 50,000 pounds of cookie dough.

The incident occurred in the Cajon Pass at about 7 a.m. The truck veered off the road, hit a guard rail, then overturned. The cookie dough fell into the surrounding brush.

CalTrans crews cleaned up the area and repaired the damaged rail while a tow truck worked to recover the tipped semi. Lane No. 4 remained closed for several hours, significantly backing up traffic.

The driver and one passenger were able to climb out of the truck and suffered only minor injuries in the crash. It’s not clear at this point why the truck veered off the road in the first place.

On average, a pound of dough yields 16 cookies, which means this truck lost the equivalent of 800,000 cookies. But could the dough be saved?

Apparently, yes. In a 2017 interview with NPR, salvor Mike Mentuck explained how he works to sell damaged goods. While he can take his time with, say, coffins damaged by smoke from a warehouse fire, the key to refrigerated food items is speed. In one instance, Mentuck arrived at a crash site involving 38,000 pounds of spilled cheese. He ended up selling it all to a Tennessee supermarket, plus buyers in Saudi Arabia and India, for $30,000. And if the food is still good, why not?

It’s unclear if the dough in this case wound up in the hands of someone who could salvage it, but at least news outlets got to make puns during an otherwise fraught week of rising COVID-19 cases and tightening restrictions. The L.A. Times went with “Dough!,” presumably a reference to the Homer Simpson signifier of misfortune, while KTLA chose “Dough No!” I might have gone with “Dough is Me,” personally.

Los Angeleno