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Truck driver claims body produces alcohol, caused him to be drunk, crash and spill 11,000 salmon

This story has two strange twists: one involves alcohol and the other involves 11,000 salmon being spilled on a highway.

Let’s start with the fish. Roughly 11,000 salmon fell from a truck after it crashed and rolled over on the McKenzie River Highway outside of Eugene, Ore., in late December 2014.  The driver was charged with DUI. His defense: his body makes its own alcohol.

KVAL TV in Eugene, had a headline at the time of the incident that read, “Hatchery truck crash: ‘The whole highway was covered with fish.'” The story described a witness saying fish were “just flopping around everywhere.”

The truck driver, Ray Lewis, works for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and said he suffers from a medical condition called “auto-brewery syndrome.”

Lewis claimed his high blood alcohol level at the time was not from drinking, but from his medical condition, according to WJLA ABC 7 which was among the first to report on the incident.

At the time of the crash, Lewis reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .29 — that’s three times above the legal limit, according to the article.

According to a blog post by lawyer and legal scholar Jonathan Turley, Lewis has a meeting with his employer later this month, and he expects to be fired.

Lewis’s case isn’t unique. Early this year, a woman in upstate New York claimed she suffers from auto-brewery syndrome. According to an article on, DUI charges against the woman — whose name was not released — were dismissed. Her attorney Joseph Marusak said she had the syndrome and that caused her blood alcohol level to spike– it registered more than four times the legal limit, according to the report.

And on other odd things that have spilled on roadways — potatoes, milk and printer ink.

[Spuds spilled! Tractor trailer filled with potatoes crashes on Beltway’s outer loop]

[Crying over spilled milk — and traffic delays — in Mt. Ariy, Md.]

[Truck spills printer ink on Interstate 95 in Lorton, causing major traffic delays]