ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Four steers will not get to munch the sweet taste of Texas feed at the end of a long journey after the truck they were on flipped over in Albuquerque early Friday morning.
Authorities say two of the steers died at the scene of the crash on the Big I and two others had to be put down shortly afterward.
Officer Ray Wilson of the New Mexico State Police said that, around 4:30 a.m., a truck driver hauling 92 head of cattle from Ely, Nev., to a feeding location in Dalhart, Texas, flipped over on southbound Interstate 25 as the roadway curved to merge onto eastbound Interstate 40.
He said the driver, employed by Divis Ranch Trucking LLC of Boyero, Colo., was not hurt.
The driver told police he had been rounding the bend of the flyover when weight shifted in his trailer, causing the whole truck to roll.
The crash and ensuing multi-agency investigation and clean-up closed the roadway for much of the morning as officials grappled with how to transport the surviving livestock. It was re-opened around 9:30 a.m.
Chris Bellantoni, a media coordinator for Expo New Mexico, said the facility and New Mexico Livestock Board officials were told about the crash and jumped into action.
“Livestock Board members quickly came to the aid of APD and AFD to wrangle and check on the welfare of the steers,” Bellantoni wrote in a news release. “All agencies involved were at the ready based on the training that had been conducted in July at the Albuquerque Sunport to prepare for these types of emergencies.”
He said that, by 8:30 a.m., the livestock board was wrapping up taking the cattle to Expo New Mexico’s outdoor horse area, where the group was thoroughly inspected for injuries.
“In total 4 heads of cattle did not survive the incident, but this a remarkable number for these types of incidents,” Bellantoni wrote. “Eighty eight head of cattle have been successfully housed at EXPO New Mexico where they are being fed and given water.”
The survivors were preparing to continue their trek Friday afternoon.