You might say this crash was a bit tipsy all the way around.
A semi hauling a variety of beer in cans and bottles tipped over on westbound Interstate 90 while coming down Fourth of July Pass east of Coeur d'Alene at 12:22 p.m. Wednesday.
Some of the cans of beer, including Natural Ice, floated downstream in the flow of natural icy-cold spring runoff along the freeway.
"I'm told that the beer is low quality domestic — Rolling Rock and Bud Light," joked Idaho State Police Capt. John Kempf, who wasn't at the scene but helped distribute information about the crash.
The driver of the 2017 Volvo semi, Feliks Giterman, 43, of Brooklyn, N.Y., had to be extricated from the vehicle before being transported to Kootenai Health with non-life threatening injuries. He was wearing his seat belt and the lone occupant. The extrication lasted about a half an hour.
"It's a miracle that he survived, much less only had minor injuries," ISP Sgt. Allen Ashby said. "There was severe damage to the semi and trailer."
Giterman was cited for reckless driving.
"There were several witnesses on scene who relayed that he was driving down the pass at a high rate of speed," Ashby said. "Roadway evidence and damage to the vehicle and adjacent roadway structure were all indicative of a high-speed collision."
Ashby said it appears Giterman overcorrected the semi on a curve on the west side of the pass near Wolf Lodge, causing the vehicle to overturn.
"The semi went over jersey barriers and came to rest on the side of the road over the edge of an embankment over a creek," Ashby said. "A lot of the load of beer ended up in the stream. The scene was quite a mess. Some of the beer products floated nearly a mile down the creek."
One westbound lane was blocked for about 3.5 hours. Both lanes were blocked for recovery of the semi and 53-foot trailer for approximately 25 minutes. Schaffer's Towing was called in.
Coeur d'Alene Fire was the primary emergency services agency on scene, while Kootenai County Fire and Rescue assisted with traffic control and to warn westbound motorists of the crash. The Idaho Transportation Department also assisted.