Semi-truck carrying 73 cows rolls, closing Highway 13 north of Craig for 4 hours Monday | SteamboatToday.com

Semi-truck carrying 73 cows rolls, closing Highway 13 north of Craig for 4 hours Monday

Sasha Nelson/Craig Press

Cattle await transport to temporary holding at the Moffat County Fairgrounds following a single-vehicle crash of a semi truck that was transporting them. Six cattle died at the scene, and 67 others will be inspected by veterinarians and the brand inspector.

CRAIG — A Peterbilt conventional cab semi truck pulling a livestock trailer carrying 73 cattle rolled over on Colorado Highway 13 about three miles north of Craig just after 3 p.m. Monday, closing the road to traffic in both directions for several hours.

The driver, Larry Neeman, 59, of Crete, Nebraska, and the owner-operator of the truck, was traveling northbound from Craig near mile marker 92 when a vehicle ahead of him slowed in preparation to turn left onto Moffat County Road 103.

Neeman was apparently unable to slow quickly enough and overturned as he attempted to bypass the other vehicle on the right, running onto the shoulder of the road before flipping onto the highway, said Colorado State Patrol Corporal Brian Bagley.

Neeman was hauling his cattle from Paonia to Nebraska.  He was the vehicle’s only occupant at the time of the crash. He was transported to The Memorial Hospital in Craig with minor injuries and was later released.

The highway was closed in both directions for about four hours — it reopened about 7:30 p.m. — to allow emergency responders to set up a temporary corral before cutting the trailer open to remove the cattle. Six animals died at the scene, which is a relatively low fatality rate for a crash of this nature, Bagley said.

The remaining cattle were removed and hauled in small trailers to the Moffat County Fairgrounds, where they will remain until transportation can be arranged to take them to Nebraska. They will be examined by a veterinarian and the brand inspector prior to their release.

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No drugs or alcohol are suspected, and the driver is not thought to have been speeding, Bagley said.

Colorado State Patrol, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Craig Fire/Rescue, Colorado Department of Transportation and Memorial Regional Health Emergency Services all responded to the scene.

The Sheriff’s Office, Fire/Rescue, CDOT and other responders did a “fantastic” job, Bagley said.

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