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40 Miles Of 'Sticky Goo' Damages 150 Cars In Pennsylvania

We have to pass along more about this bullet from our Thanksgiving travel roundup:

"Some motorists were delayed for hours last night and early today on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Pittsburgh when 'a tar-like substance ... leaked from a tanker,' the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports."

Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV says "the tanker, carrying 4,000 to 5,000 gallons of driveway sealant, got on the turnpike at the New Castle exit" in the early evening, headed southeast and didn't stop until it got to a service plaza near Oakmont, Pa. — a distance of about 40 miles according to the turnpike's website.

Apparently, the MTS Transport driver didn't realize that his tank was leaking most of the way. Now, turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo tells the Beaver County Times, it's possible "there could be hundreds of insurance claims" against the company from drivers whose cars were damaged. CBS News says it was told by officials that "150 or more cars were disabled when the sticky goo covered their tires and wheels."

No one was injured, thankfully, and the highway was reopened by 11 p.m. ET last night thanks to "a combination of salt, sand and cinders" that was used to break up the sticky substance and snowplows that then pushed it aside, the County Times says.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.