Let's Bounce: Large Metal Balls Roll Out Of Truck, Shut Down Seattle Block Tired of being cooped up in the back of a semi truck, dozens of what police said appear to be "just really big ball bearings," spilled onto a Seattle street, temporarily shutting it down.
NPR logo Let's Bounce: Large Metal Balls Roll Out Of Truck, Shut Down Seattle Block

Let's Bounce: Large Metal Balls Roll Out Of Truck, Shut Down Seattle Block

"I looked up the street and there was a sea of balls rolling down the hill making an incredible noise and hitting the cars that are here," Robert Duffy, a West Seattle resident, told KOMO News.

On Wednesday, Duffy captured a video of what he saw, which was shared on Twitter by a reporter.

"Got home from work and I couldn't park on my street, 'cause there's hundreds of thousands of steel balls on it," Luke Gills, another neighborhood resident, also told KOMO News.

The steel balls rolled out of a semitrailer truck up the street. While there probably weren't hundreds of thousands of them, the Seattle television station reported that the collection of 2 pound balls totaled 44,000 pounds. The balls appear to be "just really big ball bearings," Seattle Police spokesman Detective Patrick Michaud told the Seattle Times.

In the video, a car can be seen backing up, trying to avoid the oncoming balls. Several cars got damaged, and while there were no injuries reported, the police were called and forced to temporarily close the street.

While the shiny streaking balls were reckless, they weren't lone actors in their delinquency.

KOMO reported that in the state of Washington drivers are required by law to "secure their load." Accordingly, the driver of the truck, Robert Herman, has been cited for failing to do so, with the citation carrying a $136 fine.

Herman turned himself in as the rampaging balls' accomplice.

"Called 9-1-1 and they said 'Oh are you that guy with all the balls rolling down its street?' And I go, 'yeah, that's me,' " he said.

He said he was just two miles away from where the balls were loaded and that he was not the one who loaded them. He did vow to check his loads more carefully in the future.

"Our commercial vehicle troopers encourage drivers to inspect their load before they take off, because I'm sure the drivers aren't the ones loading their own vehicle," State Trooper Rick Johnson told KOMO News. "Make sure your load is secure."

As could be expected, social media had some fun with the situation.

Both Herman and Johnson were glad the balls fell out sooner rather than later, thinking of the damage they could have caused rolling down the highway.

Herman said the police were going to get some people to help clean up the balls, and he likely would roll on to Salt Lake City — hopefully with his load better secured.