Another Cattle Crash Catastrophe Kills 11 Calves


Cobb County Firefighters work to free the cows who were trapped in the wreckage after the accident. (Photo from JOHN SPINK/[email protected] (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)).

Sallie Kate Worley, Staff Writer

Just before 4 am on Oct. 1, a tipped-trailer crash on the I-75 interchange in Cobb County killed 11 commercial meat calves.

For 12 hours, the remaining 78 calves roamed the highway, with the blaring horns of unsuspecting drivers forcing them to scatter in every direction. Some of these calves were injured by motorists who could not spot them in time because of the early morning hours.

Will Bentley, the Executive Vice President of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “there were a lot of bright lights around that they wouldn’t be used to in a normal farm setting,” and this unfamiliar new environment was certainly a major cause for the calves’ widespread scattering. He also made it clear that older cows tend to be easier to gather after an incident like this because young calves spook more easily.

Fortunately, Georgia’s dense population of farming families understands that “these animals were scared and at risk,” so concerned cowboys from all over the state volunteered to corral the roaming bovines.

Believe it or not, this incident was not the first of its kind. In fact, 24 cattle have been claimed by crashes on Atlanta interstates since this May. Ten died on May 19, and three others on June 8.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have both spoken up about the subject. PETA issued a passionate cattle-protection statement on the day of the crash, calling for “all humans to keep cows, pigs, and chickens off the roads by keeping them off their plates.”

Click here for on-sight coverage of the tragedy from 11Alive.