Mega-Load Crash Brings Shipments to Halt

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Reckless driving did what a protracted court battle couldn't do—stop large-scale oil drilling equipment, aka mega-loads, from traveling through Idaho.

Idaho State Police are blaming driver error for a collision involving one of the "scaled-down" mega-loads traveling along Interstate Highway 95. A collision on Tuesday occurred when one of the drivers of the huge shipments pulled into traffic inappropriately.

"The driver did not follow the approved safety plan," Idaho State Police Capt. Lonnie Richardson told the Associated Press.

The oversized module hit a van, causing severe damage and pushing the van into another vehicle. No one was hurt. Idaho Transportation Department has put the brakes on any further ExxonMobil shipments until assurance can be made that the incident won't be repeated.

When ExxonMobil ran into a lengthy court battle over permits to transport its oil equipment from the Port of Lewiston along U.S. Highway 12, through Montana and up to the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Canada, it decided to move forward with its Plan B—cutting down the shipments into a smaller size and transporting them from Lewiston up to Moscow, on to Coeur d'Alene and over to Montana before heading north of the border.