When cows hit road, there's no exiting the trouble on I-10
Web Posted: 03/17/2006 12:00 AM CST
Express-News Staff Writer
In a wild series of incidents that started with a loose tailgate and ended with a grass fire Wednesday night, two Seguin police cars were destroyed, at least two cows were killed, three suspected undocumented immigrants were jailed and Interstate 10 was closed.
Pay attention. This is complicated.
At about 9:45 p.m., the gate fell open on an 18-wheeler hauling cattle east near the Texas 123 bypass in Seguin.
"Cows started being deposited on the highway," Seguin police spokeswoman Maureen Watson said.
Five or six cows hit the road. One was struck by another 18-wheeler and dragged about a half-mile. Another was hit by a minivan. Both animals died, blocking the highway among the remaining injured cows.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers arrived and started clearing the scene, using a truck to drag the dead cows off the road and rounding up the live ones.
That's when a pickup, reported stolen in Houston, sped through the scene, almost hitting a DPS trooper directing traffic, Watson said.
A short chase ensued. Three men abandoned the pickup and ran into the brush along the highway.
Two Seguin patrol cars that had joined the chase parked amid the grass along the highway, and the officers jumped out and chased the fugitives.
They caught the men, but when the officers returned the prisoners to their patrol cars, they saw that heat from the engines had sparked a grass fire that torched both vehicles, one of which was brand new.
Crews arrived to fight the rapidly spreading fire, and Interstate 10 was closed. Eastbound lanes were shut for about 45 minutes.
The men, believed to be undocumented immigrants, were brought to the Guadalupe County jail. Their names and charges against them were not available Thursday afternoon.
The driver of the cattle truck was cited for driving with an unsecured load.
"The whole chain of events was pretty bizarre," Watson said. "The damage to the cars was $50,000 to $60,000."
See you on the trail again soon,