Oklahoma Semi Driver has One of Those Days

By Faye Higbee

Oklahoma Semi driver Mark Dearinger, 47, from Chikasaw, OK had a day to forget on March 8 as he drove through Idaho. Being unfamiliar with the area, he accidentally drove into a hazmat area instead of taking the actual on ramp to I-90 and crashed the truck into a large snowbank. While, that alone wouldn’t have been an issue, it was his load that stopped the world and closed the entire freeway between 4 mileposts for two hours, and required a response from a local military base.

He was carrying sixteen, 2,000 pound missiles. Oops.

The Idaho State Police issued this alert (an update by the ISP was issued giving the correct driver’s name as Mark instead of Leiloni):

On March 8, 2019 at approximately 7:14 pm a property damage crash occurred on Interstate 90 at milepost 8, Huetter rest area. A 2016 Volvo semi-truck carrying cargo consisting of sixteen 2,000 pound missiles driven by Leiloni Dearinger, 56, of Chickasha, OK was traveling through the eastbound Port of Entry. Dearinger inadvertently drove into the hazmat containment area instead of using the Interstate on ramp. At the end of the containment area Dearinger drove over a large snow bank causing the truck to be disabled.  The interstate both eastbound and westbound was closed for approximately two hours as a precaution until the load was confirmed not a hazard. Dearinger was uninjured and received a citation for inattentive driving.

The local Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington, Fairchild, sent three explosive ordnance technicians to assist police with the scene. After two hours, it was determined that the missiles were not a threat, and the freeway was reopened. No one was injured, and the missiles apparently survived the ordeal.

The actual type of missiles were not divulged by authorities. Fairchild AFB authorities specifically stated that the truck had no relation to the base.