NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – Fourteen cows died after a tractor-trailer rolled over Thursday morning on Interstate 84 in Newtown, the state Department of Agriculture said.
The Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue said the tractor-trailer rolled over around 3:30 a.m. on the I-84 West Exit 10 off-ramp. Officials said the tractor-trailer was carrying 44 dairy cattle when it rolled over.
State officials said eight cows died in the crash, and six were euthanized at the scene. Sandy Hook Fire Chief Anthony Capazelle said firefighters used the jaws of life on the top of the two-story cattle pod to free the other 30 cows, which were evaluated by the state veterinarian and are doing well, according to state officials.
State police said the truck was transporting the cows from Maine to Ohio. The 25-year-old driver from Ohio was not injured.
Sandy Hook Fire Chief Anthony Capazelle said it was foggy at the time of the crash, and the driver was traveling too fast in the right lane and didn’t realize it was an exit ramp until it was too late. He was issued an infraction for failure to maintain a line, state police said.
The Exit 10 off-ramp was shut down for hours but has since reopened.
“It was definitely a unique situation,” Brian Farrell, the general manager for Modzelewski’s Auto and Truck Center, which responded to the crash. “Not often do we deal with a lot of livestock on the highway rolled over.”
The company trains for situations like this, although it’s not too often its road crews respond to them.
“There were some challenges with the size of the cows, first of all, the cattle, and just the predicament they were in,” Farrell said.
There was concern the cows might wander onto the highway, but crews were prepared for that.
“We were able to go grab some of the temporary fencing and things we do have at our farm, brought it to the scene, and we kind of made a corral with some trucks and fencing and kind of guided them into the truck,” Farrell said.
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