If you were sitting in backed-up traffic Thursday morning on northbound First Avenue on your way through Riverside, you can thank a large bundle of wood chips that apparently fell off the back of a truck sometime prior to 7:20 a.m.
It was at that time a 911 caller phoned police to report that the curb land of northbound First Avenue underneath the railroad viaduct was blocked by a pile of wood chips that had been bundled together by netting.
A few minutes later, police received another 911 call that a 2010 Cadillac Escalade driven by a 46-year-old Willow Springs woman had swerved to avoid the wood chips and struck a GMC Yukon driven by a 20-year-old Lyons man.
No one was injured, but the accident and the wood chips snarled northbound rush hour traffic. Police contacted Riverside Public Works, which sent over a crew with a front-end loader to remove the wood chips from the roadway.
Police cleared the scene at about 7:55 a.m.