Truck carrying 62 bulls overturns

Friday, September 28, 2007
Members of the Humane Society of Missouri Large Animal Rescue Team tried to get a young bull back on its feet Thursday in a holding pen in just off Cass Avenue in north St. Louis. The bull was injured when a tractor-trailer transporting about 60 head of cattle overturned on the ramp from the Poplar Street Bridge to westbound Interstate 70 about midnight. (David Carson ~ St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ST. LOUIS -- A double-decker truck carrying 62 young bulls overturned on a bridge ramp early Thursday, killing 17 of the creatures and setting off a search for a missing bull roaming the city.

Animal rescue crews said the bulls were headed from Kentucky to a feed lot in Colorado when the load shifted and the truck overturned on the Interstate 70 westbound ramp off the Poplar Street Bridge in downtown St. Louis, near the grounds of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

The bridge crosses the Mississippi River between Illinois and Missouri.

The truck overturned at 12:01 a.m.

Forty-five survived, but one remained loose Thursday.

"We're asking people to call the city police if they see a cow that isn't where it's supposed to be," said Jeane Jae, spokeswoman for the Missouri Humane Society.

The remaining 44 were bruised and battered and held in a makeshift corral northwest of the downtown.

Forty-two of them were loaded into a truck later Thursday morning for shipment to Farmers Livestock in Greenville, Ill., at the direction of the hauler's insurance company, Jae said.

Two had injuries that precluded them from being transported and will remain in the Humane Society's care for now, she said.

The driver was treated for minor injuries and released. No other vehicle was involved in the wreck.

The accident happened a year to the day that a double-decker horse trailer packed with 42 horses en route to an Illinois slaughterhouse crashed on Interstate 44 in Franklin County.

"It's just too eerie to be true," said Roger Vincent, president of the Missouri Emergency Response Service, a large animal rescue group that specializes in cattle and horse trailer incidents.

"Last year's accident had been on all of our minds, and this happened."

His group of 16 volunteers was the first on the scene for that incident.

He got the call for the cattle accident around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

"The truck was hanging over the overpass and we saw about a dozen cattle legs sticking out of the ventilation holes," he said.

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