Westbound I-70 reopens after cattle truck overturns - KCTV5

Westbound I-70 reopens after cattle truck overturns

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Cow loose along I-70 after crash Cow loose along I-70 after crash
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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The westbound lanes of Interstate 70 were shut down for hours, after a cattle truck turned over, complicating the morning commute.

The crash happened near the Benton Boulevard curve about 3:45 a.m. Friday, when the driver said his load shifted. All lanes were reopened just after 10:30 a.m.

There were 79 cattle on the trailer. Only six were killed, or had to be put down, because of their injuries.

One steer was found roaming near the scene, and authorities used crime tape to corral the steer, which had laid down in a grass median along an exit ramp. About 7:30 a.m. cowboys on horses lassoed the animal. It took about 10 minutes, but the cowboys and police were able to get the bovine onto the trailer.

The remaining cattle were trapped in the wreckage.

The driver of the truck is fine. The driver's wife was asleep in the cab and suffered a broken collar bone. She was checked out at the hospital and is going to be OK, but said it would be difficult to sleep, while riding in the rig again.

At least four Kansas City Fire Department trucks came to the scene to surround the overturned truck, to keep the cows from bolting once crews began to off load the cattle. Fences were also put up.

Crews cut holes in the paneling to get the cows out and put into trailers, brought into the scene.

The driver was en route to Colorado, when the crash occurred. Police cited the driver for negligent driving.

The Missouri Department of Transportation will seek to have the trucking company, or its insurance provider pay for the costs incurred Friday.

Police and others said they were relieved that none of the cattle made it to the neighborhoods, or caused more of a disruption on the highway, right after the crash. The crash happening in the middle of the night meant fewer resources such as cowboys from Sedalia were able to respond immediately.

"We had several officers that were just trying to keep it (the steer) out of the neighborhood, and more importantly keep it out of the east lanes of traffic," Kansas City police Capt. Chris Sicoli said. "A loose cow, even a small one, weights 600 to 700 pounds. Being hit by a car would not be pleasant for anybody."

Having the fire trucks create a makeshift pen was a novel idea.

"The roof on the semi is the weakest part of the trailer," Sicoli said. "Just in case one could smash through, they had it set up and they did a great job."

KCTV5's Erika Tallan and Jonathan Carter contributed to this report.

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