“What a mess.”

J.R. Harris, Williamsburg volunteer firefighter, had a simple description about a Thursday afternoon wreck on I-35.

The unidentified driver of a box truck loaded with grass and bird seed lost control of the vehicle shortly after noon Thursday, causing it to tip over and spill its contents all over the southbound lanes of I-35, near the Williamsburg/Pomona exit.

The driver was not injured in the wreck that ripped a portion of the truck’s roof off, Neil Stanley, with the Kansas Highway Patrol, said at the scene.

“He’s just kind of shook up from the ride,” Stanley said, adding the driver was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the wreck.

The driver lost control of the vehicle for an unknown reason after leaving the roadway, Stanley said.

“The load shifted on him when he over-corrected and the truck tumbled over,” Stanley said. The truck came to rest on its passenger side, facing north on the busy highway.  

With both southbound lanes closed as crews cleaned up the wreck, the incident strangled traffic on I-35 for more than two hours. Vehicles were forced to slowly pass on the right shoulder. Some had to leave the roadway to get past the torn 25-pound and 50-pound bags of grass seed that were scattered across the interstate.