Tractor-trailer crash kills 3 cows, blocks I-285 ramp for hours

Three cows were killed and dozens others were trapped in a tractor-trailer crash that blocked a busy DeKalb County interchange for hours Friday morning.

The incident on the ramp from I-285 South to I-20 East comes weeks after another tipped cattle hauler brought traffic to a halt on I-75 in Cobb County.

According to DeKalb fire Capt. Dion Bentley, the tractor-trailer was attempting the navigate the curve of the ramp just after 5 a.m. when it overturned.

The ramp is historically troublesome for metro Atlanta traffic.

“It’s a tough turn around here, heading eastbound on I-20,” Bentley said.

The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to officials.

Thirty-six cows headed for Augusta were trapped inside the trailer from the time the truck flipped over until 8:45 a.m., when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources arrived to safely remove the cattle.

Three of the cows did not make it, Bentley said. He described the rescue of the surviving cows as stressful. There was a lot of bent metal, prompting crews to use a saw as a last resort to avoid further distressing the animals.

“They are talking to them like they're people. They are trying to calm their fears and help to remove them from the scene,” Bentley said of the effort. “I can’t stress (enough) how caring these men and women are in trying to remove them as safely as possible.”

An overturned cattle hauler is blocking the ramp from I-285 South to I-20 East, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.


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Just three weeks ago, another truck spilled its bovine cargo, shutting down I-75 North for hours and killing 10 cows.

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PETA officials said a new billboard memorializing the 10 cows who died in a tractor-trailer crash on May 17 is in the works.

Normal traffic on the I-285 interchange resumed just after 11 a.m., DeKalb police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell said.

“The remaining cattle are en route to Augusta,” she said.

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