Loose cattle on I-44 causes accident - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Loose cattle on I-44 causes accident

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers spent several hours in the middle of the night rounding up some 40 head of cattle running loose on I-44. They were called out to a crash involving cattle around 2:30 a.m. between Key Gate and the Medicine Park exit.
Officials says two cows were hit and killed by oncoming traffic, but no one else was injured. OHP is still investigating to find out who owns the cattle and how they got out in the first place.

It isn't unusual in Southwest Oklahoma for drivers to hit stray cattle, but livestock owners *are* required to keep their animals together within fencing at all times.

"People in cars have to always be watching, because we can't always keep them in," said Ethan Treadwell, a farmer in Tillman County

Treadwell has spent his whole life raising cattle, and even he admits his cattle have wandered onto US Highway 62 before, but thankfully no one hit them with their car or was injured when it happened. It puts a hole in their pockets, every time they lose them...

"It takes about the profit off of 20 calf to pay for one dead calf and we have a hard enough time keeping them alive due to sickness, health and freak deals," said Treadwell.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Tryone Dixon says loose cattle on the roadway are a huge safety issue.

"It's definitely important when you see something like that or animals that are loose that you notify the proper authorities, whether you contact 9-1-1or you dial us by calling star-5-5 from your cell phone," said Dixon. "Let us know so we can get out there, slow traffic down, we can mark the scene, we can contact other agencies to assist."

Cattle owners are also required to log their animals' brands, so if they get loose, and an officer is called out, they can track down its owner and put the animal back onto their property. 

Treadwell says he has electric fences to keep his cattle in, but they can get out if a gate is left open or a fence is down, but he does everything he can to protect not only his cattle, but the community as well.

"Know that those cattle could be out," said Treadwell. "They might not be out when you drive by the first time, but they could be out the second time, and be very careful after dark."

Oklahoma Highway Patrol says this crash is still under investigation. 

You can count on your 7News team to keep you updated as more information gets released. 

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly