Thursday’s unusual wreck involving a cattle tractor-trailer overturning on I-75 southbound causing a morning rush hour backup is not the first in Cobb’s history.
♦ The Oct. 7, 1970, Journal reported that “a fully-loaded cattle truck flipped over on the exit ramp from I-285 onto I-75 northbound” the day before “an estimated 25-30 of the 75 beef cattle in the truck were killed.” One steer managed to escape onto the highway, charged a Cobb County police officer and had to be shot. The wreckage caused a traffic jam and closed the ramp for several hours. A crew of prisoners from the county work farm were brought in to remove the wreckage and dead cattle from the road.
♦ The March 7, 1976, paper, reported that “wet, slick roadways and blown out tire” the day before caused “a double-decker trailer loaded with 80 calves and hogs” to wreck on I-285 near the U.S. 41 exit ramp. The truck hit a guard rail barrier, “ripping down more than 75 feet of the metal barrier and slid into the median letting 40 cattle escape.” Many of the animals were killed in the accident, but others that had survived with broken bones were euthanized. One motorist driving behind the trailer was reported as hitting and killing eight of the cows when they fell out into the roadway. Police, county workers and trustees from the work camp helped round up the stray calves.
♦ The Jan. 20, 1982, paper reported that “The Great I-285 Round-up” happened the day before as “an 18-wheeler loaded with over 130 cows heading for a Canadian slaughterhouse overturned” at the I-285 East exit to I-75 North. Eight of “the mixed-breed cattle hoofed it down the expressways, dodging speeding cars for the safety of nearby Tree Top and Riverbend apartments.” Passing motorists were reported as having “tried to pen the running cows in with their circling cars.” The remaining 100 cow herd was circled by a “yipping crowd of policemen, firefighters, rescue crews, Department of Agriculture workers, civil defense employees and state DOT crews.” Even Cobb Commissioner Butch Thompson was reported as having helped try to rope cows from a police car alongside Cobb Police Officer Robert McBrayer. A total of 29 cows were killed in the wreck. Two were caught the next day and a third stray was hit and killed by a car that morning when it wandered onto foggy I-75.
♦ The Nov. 27, 1985, paper reported that a herd of cattle got loose from a long-bed truck after it collided with a van on I-285 at Northside Drive. Fulton and Cobb County police worked to round up the cattle. Three cows were killed when the truck overturned.
♦ The Oct. 17, 2002, paper reported that a cattle truck overturned on I-75 South after it slammed into the concrete wall and turned both sides of the interstate into a parking lot for five hours the morning before. The impact, which killed the truck driver, “shattered the wall and sent concrete debris across both sides of the highway.” The trailer, carrying 42 cattle, “detached from the cab and skidded across three empty lanes of traffic for 200 feet.” Twenty-nine cattle survived the accident. Nine died in the incident and four others were later euthanized. A light mist and the early morning darkness were believed to have contributed to the wreck.