‘By then it was empty’; Open trailer door leads to 3-mile interstate adventure for more than a dozen cows

Composite image. Foreground image by Tilo/iStock/Getty Images Plus. Background image by Megan Tregoning/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police officers and Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team spent nearly four hours corralling more than a dozen cows along the Interstate 15 corridor from Washington City to Hurricane late Monday night.

Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News that shortly after 10:40 p.m., officers were dispatched to a report of cows running loose in the Washington Parkway area.

They arrived to find that 13 cows had escaped from a trailer parked at Terrible Herbst gas station on North Commerce Boulevard while the driver was inside of the store.

“When the owner came out of the convenience store he saw that the trailer door was open,” Williams said, “and by then it was empty.”

The cattle headed west toward I-15 and continued up the on-ramp at Exit 13 heading north with officers in tow.

UDOT’s Incident Management Team was called in to assist as the small herd continued along the interstate, traversing between the roadway and the shoulder. One member of UDOT’s incident team said they were “moseying on along … eating grass and taking their time.”

The herd was slowly guided along by the UDOT truck and several police vehicles until they reached Exit 16, where officers were able to “get the cows to exit in Hurricane,” Williams said.

By 2 a.m., all cows were accounted for, and the herd was guided into an open field, which is where three were captured and the remaining eight “fell asleep in the field and stayed there,” the UDOT official said.

Williams said that at this point, it is unclear whether the trailer door was intentionally opened while the owner was inside of the store or if it was improperly secured.

Fortunately, the three-hour incident took place late at night so the impact on traffic was minimal, he said, and officers were cleared off the call just after 2 a.m. No injuries or accidents were reported as a result.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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