By MARK TODD



and BILL WEST



Staff Writers



CONNEAUT -- Got milk? ; ;A stretch of Route 7 was served an ample portion of the dairy beverage Tuesday night when a truck hauling thousands of milk jugs flipped just south of Interstate 90.

The Meadow Brook truck was carrying more than 4,500 one-gallon jugs of 2 percent milk, and most of the cargo containers were dumped into a drainage ditch when the big rig toppled onto its side, according to salvage workers at the scene. Some of the jugs burst open, spilling milk into the ditch.

A police report on the accident was not immediately available Wednesday.

The crash occurred shortly before 8:30 p.m. on the west side of the highway between Underridge and South Ridge roads, at a spot where the four-lane state route shrinks to two lanes for southbound traffic.

The driver, identified as David Reynolds, 44, of Erie, Pa., was injured in the accident and was treated at UHHS-Brown Memorial Hospital, firefighters said. Emergency personnel responding to the scene reported icy conditions on Route 7, firefighters said.

Salvage crews from Bowers Towing and Truck Service in West Springfield, Pa., began reclaiming the damaged containers soon after the crash and were still on the job Wednesday afternoon. Other trucks were summoned to the site to haul away the spilled beverage.

Upward of 150 milk jugs that survived the crash were donated to the Conneaut Food Pantry, said Renea Roach, pantry director. Several groups and individuals, including Public Works Department employees, transported the milk to the pantry housed at the Conneaut Human Resources Center, she said.

All but 15 of the gallons of milk were handed out Wednesday, Roach said. Some went home with seniors who were at CHRC for various programs and mothers who brought their children to the city health department, also at CHRC.

"The community pulled together and thought of the food pantry," Roach said. "The accident was unfortunate for the (dairy) company, but it was a great asset for our pantry."

Slippery roads also were blamed for a second semi-truck accident on Interstate 90 a short distance from the Route 7 crash. The crash was reported at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The westbound truck slid off the north side of the highway, crashing through trees before coming to rest at the rear of property at 403 Underridge Road, firefighters said. The driver, a Minneapolis man, was treated at BMH, firefighters said.

A tree was knocked into a westbound lane, firefighters said. A small amount of diesel fuel, less than 5 gallons, was leaked onto the ground, according to a fire report.

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