Archive for Thursday, April 21, 2005

Wreck spills cattle truck

April 21, 2005

An early Wednesday morning accident on U.S. Highway 56 west of the junction sent a cattle truck driver to the hospital via helicopter ambulance and left resuce workers and others to untangle and free the cattle in his fully loaded tractor-trailer.

"It's been pretty wild," said Tracy Pressgrove Tuesday about 9 a.m. as she was huddled in a blanket with her three young daughters on the steps of their home, which was just yards north of where the truck had fallen on its side along the highway.

"I've been here since 5:30 this morning," Pressgrove said. "That's when it happened. Rounding up the cows has been interesting. One of the bulls bit a guy."

The driver of the truck, Brandon C. King, Cannon Falls State, Minn., was taken by air ambulance to the University of Kansas Medical Center, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. His condition was unknown at presstime.

According to witnesses, the driver apparently fell asleep, the truck's passenger-side tires went off the highway and into a ditch. As the weight of the cattle shifted, the truck went over, landing on its side.

The roof of the trailer had to be cut open to get the cattle out. Workers were at it most of the morning trying to extricate the 50-some-head of cattle.

According to the KHP report, King was westbound on U.S. Highway 56 one mile west of the Baldwin Junction when the vehicle left the road way on the north side and overturned.

The accident closed a stretch of U.S. 56 for hours while crews cleaned up the accident site. A Douglas County Sheriff's officer was stationed at the junction and wouldn't allow traffic to head west.

Numerous people from around the area chipped in with the effort and provided trucks and trailers to transport the cattle with. Fencing panels were provided and used to keep the cattle confined once they were out of the trailer.

No other vehicles were involved with the accident and traffic resumed on the stretch of U.S. 56 later in the day.

The Signal will update the story online at www.baldwincity.com as information becomes available.

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