The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Udder danger: Don't hit a cow, man

Motorist uninjured, but finds nine cows in and around road


September 20, 2018

CLOVIS — Matthew Moore was on his way home from work about 1 a.m. Wednesday, when his vehicle bounced over something in the road.

The jolt knocked off his glasses, and sent his Ford Explorer out of control.

“I thought one of my tires had popped or something,” he said. “All I knew was I was driving one minute and, the next, trying to get control of the car.”

Moore stopped the vehicle, found his glasses and soon found what caused the problem — dead cows on U.S. 60/84 west of Clovis.

In all, Moore said he counted five dead cows on the highway, and four more in a ditch nearby.

He used a flashlight to warn other motorists and called the cops.

Curry County Sheriff Wesley Waller said officials with New Mexico Department of Transportation were summoned to remove the animals from the highway near County Road P.

It wasn’t clear on Wednesday how the animals were killed or why they were in the road.

Moore said all of the cows were dead when he found them.

“One of the officers said they could have fallen off a truck,” Moore said. “Another person said some companies will take dead cattle for dog food or something. The cows were pretty bloated. They had to have been dead for a couple of hours at least, I would think.”

But Moore, who works at the commissary at Cannon Air Force Base, also said he had no experience with dead cows — until Wednesday morning that is.

“I walked away fine,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m a little sore, but I’m fine.”

His vehicle also survived. Moore said he called friends for a ride home and had his vehicle towed from the scene because he’s concerned about damage underneath. He wants a mechanic to check it before he tries to drive it again.

Moore said it’s possible he wasn’t the first motorist to encounter the cows. He saw “pieces of another car,” near the dead animals.

That wasn't the only cow vs. vehicle incident west of Clovis early Wednesday.

Meghan Howard said she rolled up on a different dead-cow scene on Llano Estacado, or NM 245, about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday. She saw “debris everywhere,” that she surmised to be from a vehicle, in addition to a vehicle with its hood up.

In that incident, Waller said Nikolai Alexandrovich, 20, of Cannon Air Force Base was traveling east in a 2011 Ford passenger vehicle when it struck livestock in the roadway. "Four cows were struck and injured," Waller said in an email. "Due to their injuries and suffering, the deputy had to put all 4 down."

Waller said the two incidents do not appear to be related.

He said the New Mexico Livestock Board is assisting in trying to identify the owner of the cattle killed.


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