Cattle car rolls off M-60 in Sherwood Township after cab slips on ice; four cows died

Four cattle died when a tractor-trailer rig rolled on an icy curve on Michigan 60 in Branch County on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 (Contributed)

The driver and passenger are OK, but they lost four of the 11 cows they were hauling after their truck and trailer skidded off Michigan 60 in Branch County.

The crash occurred just before 6 a.m. Tuesday, near Stanton Road. Branch County deputies arrived to find the occupants out of the truck, but the cows were trapped in the overturned trailer. The cab was upside down and the roof had collapsed into the passenger compartment.

Sherwood Township and Athens Fire Department crews arrived with mechanical extraction equipment to cut the trailer open to free the cows. Four had already died, apparently from being crushed by the other cattle.

Branch County investigators said the 1-ton tractor-trailer rig was traveling east on Michigan 60 when the driver, Elmer Detweiler, 67, of Colon, Michigan, lost control on an ice-covered curve. The truck slid off the roadway and hit a tree. That's when the trailer and truck rolled over, trapping the cattle.

The driver and passenger were both wearing seatbelts; and investigators said that save them from serious injuries.

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