10 cows killed in crash that closed I-75 for hours

Over the years, watermelons, chickens, tigers, foam tomahawks and buckling roadways have snarled Atlanta traffic.

Early Thursday, cows were added to that list.

Photos: Weird things that have snarled Atlanta traffic

According to Cobb County police, a tractor-trailer hauling 19 cows overturned on I-75 South before 5 a.m.

The truck driver reportedly overcorrected after drifting into another lane and the rig hit a sound barrier at the end of a guard rail, Cobb police Sgt. Wayne Delk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The driver was not injured.

Police initially reported seven cows were killed in the crash, but Georgia Department of Agriculture officials have confirmed that 10 did not make it. The surviving cows were roaming loose on the interstate before emergency responders were called in to herd them to the side of the roadway, police initially reported.

Cows set loose from an overturned tractor-trailer on I-75 South in Cobb County Thursday morning were herded to the side of the interstate while crews worked to clean up the wreck. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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I-75 South was shut down at Ga. 92 in the process and traffic was diverted off the interstate, complicating the morning commute for drivers in Bartow, Cherokee and north Cobb counties. At times, backups stretched for miles, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

The Georgia State Patrol and HERO road assistance units assisted in the cleanup.

Progress was not made until 7 a.m., when the truck was towed away from the scene.

An hour later, the cows were rounded up for transport to an undisclosed location. One of them evaded animal control officers, however, and was possibly still roaming the area Thursday afternoon.

The interstate did not completely reopen until about the same time, according to the Traffic Center.

Daniel Paden, the Director of Evidence Analysis in PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department, sent a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the situation:

“Ten gentle cows died in this wreck, and those who survived were rounded up into the transport truck to continue the terrifying trip — perhaps to a slaughterhouse, where they would be hung upside down and their throats would be slit. This tragic accident gives us a glimpse into the routine suffering and misery that the meat and dairy industries work very hard to keep secret.”

Traffic on I-75 South at Ga. 92 is moving again after a tractor-trailer hauling 19 cows overturned Thursday morning. Traffic was delayed for several hours beginning at 5 a.m. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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