PLACERVILLE, Ca. (InEDC) 05th Jul, 2023. 10:57 am
A Facebook post by the Placerville office of the California Highway Patrol has gone viral for its unsavory connection to the Donner Lake exit on Interstate 80. The lake, named after the ill-fated Donner Party, has long been associated with the group’s infamous winter survival ordeal, which reportedly involved cannibalism.
The photo posted by the CHP showed the exit sign, which led to a discussion among Facebook commenters about the historical cannibalism connection. While some found the humor in the irony, others found it insensitive.
CalTrans public information officer, Steve Nelson, acknowledged the appropriateness of the sign given the number of restaurants in the area but also recognized the potential insensitivity. The department is currently investigating the matter.
Commenters on the Facebook post engaged in tasteless jokes, referencing the cannibalistic history. The Placerville CHP’s social media account even responded cheekily to some comments, adding fuel to the controversial fire.
While the Donner Party’s cannibalism is a subject of historical debate, the Facebook post has sparked renewed interest in the gruesome tale. The viral nature of the post serves as a reminder that sensitive historical associations can still evoke strong reactions today.