Crews Work All Day To Clean Overturned Cattle Truck On Tulsa Highway

Thursday, June 11th 2015, 6:41 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Firefighters rounded up cattle near downtown Tulsa after a semi-truck loaded with calves overturned on the highway.

It took more than nine hours to get the truck off its side. No one was hurt, but dozens of cattle are dead.

The crash happened in an awful spot - on the northeast corner of the IDL where the Interstate 244 ramp connects with southbound Highway 75 - and made the cleanup and rescue an all-day event.

6/11/2015 Related Story: Trailer Loaded With Cattle Crashes On Downtown Tulsa Highway Ramp

The crash happened just after daylight. The semi-trailer, loaded with 106 head of cattle, went around a curve on the IDL and rolled over.

The Highway Patrol reported the driver was going too fast for the curve and wasn't even supposed to be making the turn; he was headed to western Oklahoma.

Trooper Dwight Durant said, "He intended to go west on 412. With the construction, I'm sure he got a little confused, took the wrong turn, took it too fast, weight shifted, it rolled over, and here we are, interstate blocked."

The driver wasn't hurt, but he did receive a ticket.

The Highway Patrol said he started driving at 2:30 a.m. in Stilwell and was heading for a feedlot in the panhandle. The trip ended in Tulsa, however, where it took almost nine hours to get the cattle out and turn the truck back up on its wheels.

Several cattle died in the crash and more would die before they were taken out of the truck.

The fire department spent all morning trying to upright the trailer with most of the cattle inside it, but the weight was too much, and the plan didn't work.

Firefighters tried to cool off the cattle and a veterinary team responded to do what they could for them.

As the heat kept building, the decision was made to offload all of the cattle - whether dead or alive - to lighten the load.

That involved cutting holes in the roof of the trailer to get inside and pull the animals out.

The Highway Patrol said they don't have an exact count on how many cows died or survived.

The Department of Transportation is still working on the scene and said it will be closed through rush hour.