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Soft drink casualties were heavy

Soft drink casualties were heavy

June 6, 1943: Driver E.L. Bohanon and two Army MPs survey the soda losses after a truck crashed off the highway between Indio and Desert Center.

This photo by staff photographer George Watson was published in the next morning’s L.A. Times. Accompanying the image was this short story:

INDIO, June 6 – It was the case of “bottoms up” not only for the drinks but for the truck when a load of soft drinks on their way to a desert army camp became involved in a freak accident on the highway between here and Desert Center.

Loaded to the hilt with bottled soft drinks, the truck developed a motor lock on a steep grade, stalled and slipped off an embankment to stand upturned in the desert sun while soft drinks fizzled and died.

E.L. Bohanon, the driver, was uninjured. Casualties among the soft drinks were high, he said.

On June 6, Watson’s assignment was to photograph the Poston Japanese Relocation Center just across the Colorado River in Arizona. The negatives for these two photos were found in The Times archive filed with Watson’s Poston negatives. While in transit to Poston, I suspect Watson came across this overturned truck, took a couple of photos and then went on his way.

Many of the boxes of soda bottles spilled in this accident outside of Indio carried the Pepsi brand. Credit: George Watson/Los Angeles Times


  1. May 9, 2012, 8:35 am

    Love these old photos that you find in the archives of newspaper history.

    The San Francisco Chronicle online has a guy digging out old photos, also.

    By: Jessie Q.
  2. May 9, 2012, 11:39 am

    Soda pressing.

    By: mpeters

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