Two crashes this week involve vehicles hitting cows | SteamboatToday.com

Two crashes this week involve vehicles hitting cows

This pickup with an after-market bumper had heavy front-end damage after hitting a cow Tuesday on Routt County Road 129.

During the summer, drivers in Routt County are no longer sharing the road with just cyclists and wildlife.

Local ranchers use unfenced, open range in the rural parts of the county for grazing, and there were two incidents this week involving cars crashing into cows.

A heavy-duty, steel aftermarket front bumper was no match for the large cow that was hit by a truck Tuesday on Routt County Road 129 near Clark.

"With the front-end damage, I'm sure the insurance company totaled it," North Routt Fire Protection District Chief Mike Swinsick said.

The driver was not seriously injured, but the cow wandered about a hundred yards on three legs and slowly died.

There was another incident Tuesday on Routt County Road 33.

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Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said a pickup came over the crest of a hill and encountered a herd of cows on the road.

"Drive safe on the county roads, and be aware of livestock, because they are out," Elliott said.

Elliott said open grazing ranges are usually marked with signs, and there will be cattle guards in the road, which prevent cattle from leaving the open range.

Swinsick said that, in North Routt, they deal with about a dozen crashes involving livestock each year.

He recalled three people being injured in recent years.

Swinsick recalled once crash near Pearl Lake that involved multiple cars.

One of the cars launched over the cow but landed on its wheels.

"Black cows on a black road in the middle of the night," Swinsick said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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