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Cargo shift caused truck crash, tavern fire, police say

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Police have determined that the crash that caused the Old Grist Mill Tavern to go up in flames in June was a result of cargo shifting on a tractor trailer. The Associated Press reported that a box truck carrying bananas crashed into a gas main next to the restaurant and started an explosion on June 24 at 5:30 a.m. The driver of the truck was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, and the building, built in 1745, was destroyed. Seekonk police released a statement today saying that the department, along with State Police from the commercial vehicle enforcement division, had concluded the investigation. Seekonk police said there was no evidence that the truck driver was speeding or impaired. The statement said that “state troopers determined that there had been a failure to prevent cargo shifting.” The container was on the truck, but was not the property of the trucking company, police said. State Police issued a citation to Chiquita Fresh North America LLC in Ohio for a failure to prevent cargo from shifting.

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