Zombies are blamed for a California highway pileup that halted traffic for hours. Jerimiah Clyde Hartline, age 19, was driving a stolen 18-wheeler loaded with strawberries. He reportedly crashed into multiple cars as he attempted to flee from zombies.
Hartline reportedly hitched a ride with semi-trailer truck driver Daniel Martinez in Tennessee. The pair rode all the way to California without incident.
Martinez explains that as he stopped for a routine inspection, Hartline got in the driver’s seat and drove away with his truck full of strawberries. Within minutes, he was barreling down the highway, causing multiple accidents. He eventually lost control of the truck, tipping it over and spilling strawberries all over the road.
As reported by CNN, the fallen truck blocked all four lanes of traffic. The position of the truck, multiple vehicle collisions, and strawberries, created a mess that took seven hours to clean up.
Hartline claims zombies were responsible for the highway pileup. According to authorities, he states he was trying to escape as they chased him down the highway. He also pointed out that several zombies were clinging to the strawberry truck and he was trying to dislodge them by driving erratically.
California police state that the man appeared to be under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug. Hartline was taken to the hospital for treatment and then arrested on charges of vehicle theft and hit-and-run.
As reported by The Press-Enterprise, seven other people were injured as a result of the collisions. Four were taken to the hospital and one has been listed in serious condition.
Martinez, who was originally driving the 18-wheeler, was in violation of rules prohibiting passengers in the truck. He was hesitant to report that Hartline had rode with him from Tennessee and then stole his truck. He later claimed that Hartline hid in his truck and did not reveal himself until 100 miles into the trip. Martinez told authorities he did not make Hartline get out as he was homeless and far from home.
Authorities are still trying to determine why zombies were blamed for the highway pileup. They have not confirmed that Hartline was under the influence.
[Image via Flickr]