Driver Suffers Asthma Attack, Grapes Spill on Highway 101 in Sonoma County

Grapes that spilled from a big-rig after the driver had an asthma attack closed a portion of U.S. Highway 101 near Cloverdale in Sonoma County Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Douglas Kell, 67, of Willits, was driving a 1995 Kenworth big-rig on southbound Highway 101 toward the exit to state Highway 128 in Cloverdale around 11:45 a.m., CHP officials said.

The big-rig was carrying 24 plastic bins filled with grapes on two flatbed trailers, according to the CHP.

Kell had an asthma attack and drifted the vehicle to the right shoulder, CHP officials said.

As he recovered from his coughs he steered the big-rig back to the lane and a bin fell between the two trailers, ripping the first axel of the back trailer, according to the CHP.

The driver lost control of the big-rig and all the bins fell on all southbound lanes, CHP officials said.

Crews from the Cloverdale Fire Department and Cal Fire moved the grapes to the shoulder and washed off the roadway, according to the CHP.

All southbound lanes were closed was backed up for about half a mile 30 minutes after the crash and reopened around 3:30 p.m., CHP officials said.

Kell was not injured, according to the CHP.

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