Having cattle run around the fields south of town is not unusual this time of year, but when those cattle are flooding out of an overturned trailer, blocking roads and driveways until they all get chased down, it is more unusual.
A tractor trailer rolled over on Clear Creek Road on Friday afternoon, causing no injuries to any people, but costing a few cattle their lives.
According to Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard, the accident that happened at 12:45 p. m. Friday led to the road being closed for 45 minutes to an hour.
In the crash report from the Montana Highway Patrol, it began when 50-year-old Oakley, Kans., man Mark Krontz was driving a trailer carrying 83 head of yearling cattle on Clear Creek Road toward Havre, when he encountered a curve to the left.
“As the vehicle started to negotiate the curve, the trailer tilted toward the right, ” the report says. “As the vehicle continued to negotiate the curve, the trailer eventually tipped over onto the right side and pulled the truck tractor over with it. ”
As the vehicle flipped ont
o its side, many of the cattle escaped into the surrounding fields, a few were injured and two cows were killed.
Candi Zion, whose husband, Jeff Solomon, was selling the cows to a stockyard in Nebraska, said she was heading back from town where she was picking up pop for the truckers loading up their trucks when she saw the crashed trailer and the bovine flood around it.
“It was terrible, ” Zion said. “I was just coming from town. I ran home, got my horse and started gathering them. ”
While she was wrangling the cattle, her husband, Jeff, was in the trailer pushing them out and clearing the debris that still trapped some of them.
After doing what he could with his hands, he got his truck and “peeled the back of it off like a sardine can lid, ” Zion said.
She and her husband wanted to thank everyone who reached out with a helping hand, to gather the cows and clear the scene after the accident, from neighbors to passersby to the local emergency responders that were on the scene almost immediately.
The Havre Fire Department was called out to clean up fuel spilled in the road.
Montana Highway Patrol were there to investigate the cause of the accident and help control traffic with the Havre Police Department and Hill County Sheriff’s Office.