A 19-year-old claimed that he was on the run from undead hordes after causing a pile-up on a California motorway.
A 19-year-old man has blamed his decision to steal a strawberry delivery lorry that he later crashed near on a motorway in California, causing a pile-up, on the assertion that he was chased by zombies. Tennessee resident Jerimiah Hartline stole a haulage lorry full of strawberries from the California Highway Patrol weigh station on Interstate 15 in the idyllically named town of Rainbow and drove manically into Temecula where he caused a crash that injured seven people.
Californian Highway patrol officer Nathan Baer told local news website Temecula Patch that the man appeared to be in an altered state at the scene of the crash, claiming he was pursued by zombies. Whether Hartline thought that the strawberries specifically would work as an effective zombie deterrent or if the vehicle was simply chosen as a convenient option at that moment remains to be seen, but a lorry full of strawberries stolen from a town called Rainbow to escape the walking dead on its own sets the story up for great and bizarre expectations.
In the same way that running in a zigzag formation can be recommended for fending off an attacker, Hartline seemed to decide that this was also the best way of fending off the pesky zombies while driving an 18-wheel lorry, as he swerved across the road.
The bizarre incident did have one positive outcome, with Maggie Hamersley of the Temecula Community Pantry being more than pleased with the situation after she organised a team to carry out the rescue of the strewn strawberries. In a phone interview Maggie seemed more than satisfied that the load didn’t go to waste and announced that there should still be trays available on Friday morning. Way to look on the bright side Maggie.
Hartline has pleaded not guilty to all six charges against him, including vehicle theft and reckless driving, but logically maintains that he was ruthlessly pursued by zombies.
Image: Tobias M. Eckrich
Inset Riverside County Sheriff’s Dept