Graham cracker bonanza fuels frenzy on Dallas freeway

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on June 4, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 4 at 4:12 PM

Graham cracker bonanza

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DALLAS — It was a free-for-all on a Dallas freeway: People flocked to a busy intersection Friday morning to scoop up boxes of graham crackers spilled in an accident Thursday night.

Dallas County Sheriff's Department is trying to determine what caused an 18-wheeler to overturn in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35E at Colorado Boulevard. The wreck snarled traffic for hours overnight. last night.

After the sun came up Friday, rubberneckers turned into cracker collectors.

Deputies had their hands full trying to prevent motorists from rushing in collect hundreds of packages of Honey Maid graham crackers that had been dislodged from the semi-trailer when it turned over.

"I got enough for all my grandkids and my house," said Dora Richards, one of the snack-seekers. Just out of the hospital, she was all smiles after spotting the mountain of graham crackers on her way home.

Like so many others, she instantly pulled over and loaded up.

"This is what I give my kids for snacks, because they have ADHD and bipolar, and I don't give them no real sweet stuff, so it's a blessing for me," Richards said.

By 7:30 a.m., the free-for-all had triggered a traffic jam on I-35 headed into downtown Dallas, the same place where the 18-wheeler had crashed on its side on Thursday evening, spilling its cargo of tasty treats.

The 44-year-old truck driver was taken to a hospital and listed in stable condition Friday, but his load was left behind — a secret until sun-up.

"They were stopping, literally, 10 to 15 at a time, causing not only a traffic hazard, but people were crossing the highway here and could have gotten hit," said sheriff's department spokeswoman Kimberly Leach.

The graham cracker-grab came to an abrupt halt at 10 a.m., when county health officials ruled that the snacks had spent too much time in the sun and were no longer safe for consumption.

Richards appeared to be unconcerned about whether the boxes she grabbed had been tainted. "I'm going to make a graham cracker pie," she said.

An insurance adjuster for the trucking company was also at the scene Friday morning trying to tally the extent of the loss.

E-mail cvega@wfaa.com

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