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Farmer had no idea cows fell out of trailer and onto highway, Sun Prairie police say

While traveling at roughly 55 miles an hour, three cows fell out, hit the road and suffered injuries.
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:21 PM CST
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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV) - A bovine blockade on U.S. Highway 151 surprised not only drivers Monday afternoon but also the cows’ owner, according to police.

“This was a crazy situation. It was incredibly dangerous and it ended very positively, but it’s also incredibly funny,” Lt. Ryan Cox with the Sun Prairie Police Department said.

He explained, the incident which led authorities to block some lanes of the highway, began with a farmer heading northbound with a herd of cattle loaded in his trailer.

“There’s no real knowledge about why that trailer came undone at this point. We’re still looking into that,” he said.

The trailer’s back door had opened, and the farmer kept driving. He had no idea that an unwelcome drop-off would follow, Cox said. While traveling at roughly 55 miles an hour, three cows fell out, hit the road and suffered injuries.

Officers, including those from Madison Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol, helped round up the cows. Cox said officials used hay donated by a nearby farm to get the cows’ attention, as well as yellow caution tape which created a “corralled location.” Plus, with the help of a Good Samaritan, who offered his own trailer, the cattle found temporary refuge.

Meanwhile, a Columbia Co. deputy on the road stopped a vehicle that matched the wanted description, Cox said. Its driver confirmed, the cows were his.

“Then he realized and became extremely worried about what that potentially could mean for cows on the highway. Not only for his cattle, obviously, but more importantly for the travelers. You can imagine what would happened to a vehicle if it hit a cow,” Cox said.

He said the farmer did not violate any laws and is not facing any charges, adding that the investigation is pointing to a malfunction of trailer equipment as the cause.

After speaking personally with the farmer Tuesday, Cox reported the cows are doing well and healing from their injuries.

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