Four people died after a truck struck a cow in Henderson County in late July. The driver of the semi truck that struck the cow was a 49-year-old Mount Airy man. He was reportedly driving on Interstate 40 when he hit the cow, which had wandered into the roadway.
He lost control of his semi-trailer after he hit the cow, according to media reports, and then he swerved across the median into oncoming traffic. He died in the semi truck accident as did his 49-year-old passenger. The 18-wheeler reportedly rolled onto the median and slid into the westbound lanes, where it hit another tractor-trailer and a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Two of the people who were in the Trailblazer also died in the accident, and a third person in the Trailblazer was injured. The driver of the other tractor-trailer did not get hurt in the accident. The multi-car wreck resulted in the interstate being shut down until early the next morning.
The owner of the cow has not yet been located. Investigators say that charges may be possible against the owner of the cow if they could establish a string of negligent behavior regarding loose livestock.
The owner of the cow could face personal injury lawsuits if the people who were injured in the accident or the families of those killed decide to file them. Their lawsuits, if filed, could allege that their injuries would not have occurred if it wasn't for the negligence of the owner of the cow, who failed to secure his or her livestock. A personal injury lawyer could represent these victims or the families of the deceased victims in such a claim, and the lawyer may determine whether or not the livestock owner has any prior citations for failing to secure his or her cattle in order to establish a history of negligent behavior.
Source: Mtairynews, "Mount Airy man killed after truck strikes cow", Tom Joyce, August 12, 2013