In an extremely scary incident last month, drivers on Interstate 15 in Riverdale narrowly avoided disaster when the driver of a semi-truck lost control of his load and tipped the trailer into the barrier of an overpass on Interstate 84 above. The impact damaged the overpass and sent the load through the side of the trailer and onto the highway below.
That load was a trailer full of cattle. The unfortunate animals plummeted twenty-five to thirty feet onto the southbound lanes of I-15. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured or killed, although one driver suffered a near miss; she experienced minor injuries and her car took some damage. As many as twenty-five cows were reported dead after the crash.
The scene unfolded where Interstates 84 and 15 diverge near Ogden-Hinckley Airport, around 11:30 a.m. on November 22. Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and Utah Department of Transportation officials said the truck driver was traveling over the speed limit on the ramp at the time of the crash, although specifics were not given.
UHP was on the scene quickly, as were responders from the Riverdale Fire Department, whose station is within sight of where the crash occurred. Interstate 15 south was closed for nearly four hours, but all involved roads and ramps had been cleared and reopened by 5 p.m.
That particular ramp has a history of similar problems, with at least three nearly identical truck tip-overs in the past two years. That includes another cattle trailer rollover in January of 2016. That tipped trailer didn’t spill the animals onto the road below, but about seventy of the eighty cattle aboard died in the crash or had to be put down.
However, road design has not been blamed for these crashes: In every case in which a probable cause has been reported, it’s been human error, specifically speeding by the truck drivers.
Items falling onto the road are a serious danger to motorists. A report from AAA in 2016 found that, in a three-year period, more than 200,000 crashes were debris-related, causing around 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.
Collisions with livestock are extremely dangerous: A cow on its way to the slaughterhouse typically weighs more than 1,000 pounds. Striking one is like running into a small car, with the weight concentrated in a smaller area.
It’s very unlikely that a cow will ever fall on your car. But more common types of motor vehicle accidents happen all the time. If you have been injured by the actions of another driver, call Craig Swapp & Associates.
Our attorneys have years of experience with all forms of motor vehicle cases, including truck accidents. We give every client a free consultation, so call us at 1-800-404-9000 or fill out the form below to schedule yours.