BEATRICE – A Pennsylvania man has been charged with dumping a load of corn that was spilled onto Nebraska Highway 8 last August, about a half-mile west of Odell.
36-year-old Darren Walp, of Crum Lynne, Pennsyvlania is charged with felony criminal mischief and a misdemeanor count of depositing material on roads or ditches.
According to Gage County law officers, Walp was a trucker hired to haul corn from Farmer’s Cooperative at Reynolds, to a Farmer’s Cooperative facility in Hanover, Kansas. Authorities say while driving, Walp received a text message informing him of his dismissal from employment.
Walp is suspected of stopping his truck, manually cranking open both hoppers on his truck trailer, causing the load of corn to spill onto the highway’s westbound lane. Authorities say the suspect drove away for two miles with the hoppers open, spilling corn.
The incident, the afternoon of August 4th, prompted the Nebraska Department of Roads to close down Highway 8, for cleanup. According to court documents, about 988 bushels of corn was spilled. At the time, sheriff’s deputies could not locate the driver of the truck.