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Distracted Driver Crashes Into Trailer, Killing Prize-Winning Dairy Cow

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Award winning dairy cows at World Dairy Expo 2012

Award winning dairy cows at World Dairy Expo 2012.
Photo credit: World Dairy Expo, photo by Nina Linton of Nina Linton Photography.

A 26-year-old woman who looked at a text message while driving on Saturday night in Madison, Wisconsin, crashed into a cattle trailer carrying eight prize-winning dairy cows, and as a result one of the cows was killed, according to news reports.

Police cited the woman, Katherine De Felice, of McFarland, Wisconsin, for inattentive driving after she “allegedly” caused the accident that resulted in the death of a prize-winning cow that was being driven home from the World Dairy Expo, Nick Heynen writes for the Wisconsin State Journal. He adds that the driver of the truck towing the trailer containing the cows was a 45-year-old man from Hastings, Minnesota. Neither driver was injured, according to an Associated Press (AP) article appearing on Channel3000.com.

AP writes that police said De Felice was heading east on the Beltline at about 9:45 p.m. when she looked at a text message on her cell phone and swerved to the left, into the cattle trailer (which was also heading east), causing it to crash into a ditch and overturn. The collision caused the trailer to begin swaying and the driver of pickup pulling it was unable to maintain control, police said.

The eight prize-winning cows in the trailer were valued at around $500,000, AP writes, and goes on to say that the seven cows that were not killed “were led safely from the overturned trailer by other Expo-goers who saw the crash and stopped to help.” Authorities called additional trailers to remove the seven surviving cows from the scene.

Angela Bowman, staff writer for DairyHerd, reports that although the conditions of the seven surviving cows were not clear, officials did say that two of those cows may have been pregnant and were transported for veterinary care.

Bowman writes:

Further information regarding the [slain] cow or her owners has not been publicly announced as of Monday morning. Mark Clarke, general manager of the World Dairy Expo, did report that the cow’s owners were not from Wisconsin.

Janet Keller, PR manager for the World Dairy Expo wrote to the Rosen blog, which was hoping to learn the name of the deceased cow and its owner, and to learn more about the award it won, saying this:

Unfortunately, we have little detail on the incident other than the traffic accident report.

We were just thankful that no people involved in the crash were hurt.

The World Dairy Expo Dairy Product Championship Contest, one of the largest such contests in the world, is the only one in North America that evaluates and ranks all types of dairy products, according to the organization’s website. The World Dairy Expo, “a showcase for elite dairy cattle, cutting edge research and modern technologies,” was held in Madison, Wisconsin, from October 2-6, and had more than 65,000 attendees.

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