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Canyon Country: Rotting meat cleanup begins after business owners raise stink

Posted: June 6, 2013 7:08 p.m.
Updated: June 6, 2013 7:08 p.m.

Santa Clarita code enforcement workers helped clean up at a Canyon Country tow lot Thursday after a wrecked meat-hauling truck remained parked at the yard for more than two weeks and its load rotted.

The stink from the truck prompted complaints from nearby businesses.

The wrecked truck was hauled to the yard on Ruether Avenue following a May 21 crash on Highway 14, during which a big rig carrying almost 40,000 pounds of meat crashed near Sand Canyon Road, spilling cuts of meat on the freeway and shutting down lanes for several hours.

Vicki Wilkinson, who manages a business near the site of the tow yard, said Thursday there was a strong smell of rotten meat in the air. She described the odor as “absolutely atrocious.”

“It’s unfortunate for all of us people here,” she said, referring to herself and fellow business owners on Ruether.
City spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said code enforcement workers went to the tow yard Thursday to assist with the cleanup after receiving complaints about the odor.

“The business owner was very responsive in helping resolve the matter,” Ortiz said of the tow yard owner. “We’re working with bleach to get rid of the smell.”

A man who did not give his name answered a phone call to the yard and said the wreckage was from a crash on Highway 14 and that a cleanup was ongoing.

“The smell will be all gone by (Friday) afternoon,” he said.

He also said cleanup efforts were delayed for insurance reasons.

“The insurance company had to sort things out, and that takes some time,” he said.

In the aftermath of the May 21 crash, representatives from the Wildlife Waystation animal sanctuary on Little Tujunga Canyon Road contacted the California Highway Patrol to ask if they could take some of the meat to feed their lions, tigers, bears and mountain lions.

The founder and director of the sanctuary, Martine Colette, told The Signal the company that owned the meat declined the offer.
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