Photo by piola666 via Getty Images

It was an elk's fault

Mike Pomranz
October 03, 2018

Granted, it’s not a truck’s worth of Ikea meatballs rolling across the road while ABBA and Ace of Base sing in the background, but a recent incident is being billed as one of the most Swedish traffic accidents ever.

A road in western Sweden was reportedly covered in herring yesterday after a truck driver was forced to brake extremely hard to avoid hitting an elk, according to The Local. The accident—which took place not far from the island of Tjörn, apparently a herring fishing epicenter—scattered as many as 20 barrels of the small fish across the road. Unfortunately, they weren’t in those tiny little glass jars yet, making clean up a hassle.

“There's herring on a 100-metre stretch of the road, and there are herring fillets in the ditch,” Robert Olsson, who works with the local emergency services, told the Swedish news site Göteborgs Posten. The spill—which happened just before 11 p.m.—required the road to be shut down for about an hour as a team of six people cleared the path for other drivers. As for the smell, well, that probably lingered for a bit longer.

Meanwhile, sadly, elk are herbivores, so the beast who caused this accident wasn’t even able to partake in the spoils. That said, The Local also reported that elk and other wild animals were behind over 60,000 driving accidents in Sweden last year alone, so maybe the elk was just happy to make it out alive? Or maybe he had to run off because he was already scheduled to cause another accident at 11:30?

Though an elk causing a herring spill might sound like a stereotypically Swedish accident, these kinds of crazy, localized spills aren’t that uncommon. In 2015, an overturned truck dumped wine all over the highway in Northern California. In 2016, a truck carrying Busch Beer collided with a truck filled with Frito Lay snacks in Florida, resulting in every local couch potato’s dream. And in 2007, a truck in Colombia reportedly took a curve too fast and dumped nearly a ton of cocaine all over the road. (Also a Florida dream scenario…)

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