Syrup splattered all over the shoulder of Highway 395 after a rollover accident Friday involving an Icee frozen drink supply truck at the intersection of Highway 50 west.
Driver John Basquez, a 31-year-old Sacramento, Calif., native, was seriously injured when the transport truck he was driving lost its brakes at 8:30 a.m. during a descent from Spooner Summit. When he came speeding into the intersection, the truck reportedly skidded sideways and struck a pole, causing the truck to roll three times.
Basquez was trapped inside with a broken femur, punctured lung and head injuries. He was bleeding profusely from the head when emergency crews used the jaws of life to pull him from the crushed cab.
He was taken by CareFlight helicopter to Washoe Medical Center, where he was listed in fair condition Friday afternoon.
"The paramedics said these were not life-threatening injuries, but he will be in critical condition for a while," Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Zacha said.
Most of the syrup - used in the machines that produce the slush drink - spilled when holding rails broke off the bed of the truck. Boxes of Icee cups, lids and straws were strewn over the median. The light pole was bent from the impact.
"We would have preferred he used the runaway truck ramp," Zacha said. "For some reason we get tons of drivers who lose their brakes and miss that last runoff."
Basquez was reportedly talking to a colleague on his cellular phone when he lost control. The last thing he said over the phone before crashing was that his brakes were gone. His colleague was following a few miles behind in a van.
The Icee syrup, which flooded the ground beneath the truck, can no longer be used, Zacha said. In the event of an accident, food that spills cannot be used, by law.
No other vehicles were struck during the accident, although Basquez did run a red light coming into the intersections.