March 18, 1965 — Gene Sesky crashes a truckload of bananas in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Gene Sesky was an experienced truck driver who, on the 18th of March, 1965, was driving a semi-trailer load of bananas from the piers in New Jersey to the town of Scranton, Pennsylvania. His chosen route was Rt. 307, a long, slow descent that winds for two miles into Scranton. It features a section in which, over the course of a single mile, the road drops 500 feet in elevation.

For reasons unknown, Sesky lost control of his vehicle. It was traveling at about 90 miles an hour when this happened, and the combination of the truck’s momentum and the downhill slope ensured that it traveled a considerable distance before it came to rest at the corner of Moosic St and S. Irving Ave. Sesky did not survive the crash, although witnesses claim that he had the chance to jump free, but instead remained in the cabin, trying and eventually succeeding in preventing the deaths of anyone else. The thirty thousand pounds of bananas were scattered all about the vicinity, many of them smeared to a paste.