GEORGETOWN, Colo. – Several cattle were killed and the eastbound lanes of I-70 were closed Tuesday morning after a cattle truck rolled over at the Georgetown exit.
The rollover crash happened around 9:15 a.m. in the eastbound lanes.
“The truck came down the hill and turned onto its side,” said Tammy Marasia, a realtor who was eating breakfast at the Whistle Stop Café. “I saw the driver climb out of the cab, which was on its side. We were excited that he wasn’t hurt.”
Marasia said she then noticed several cattle scurrying out of the trailer, which had been ripped open in the crash.
“Six came out this way,” she said. “Six came out that way. They started running down the highway.”
Trooper Nate Reid, of the Colorado State Patrol, told Denver7 that six cattle died on impact and that the rest scattered. He said there were 80 on board and that 40 of them remained in the right-of-way, while 34 others scattered.
Clear Creek County Animal Service and several volunteers rounded up the yearlings that were in the right-of-way, loaded them up, a few at a time, into a horse trailer and took them to the Clear Creek County Fairgrounds in nearby Dumont.
Mickie Rogers saw the overturned truck as she pulled off I-70 at Georgetown. She unwittingly became one of the volunteers when one of the yearlings got loose and darted toward her.
"Being raised on a ranch, you just start hollering and waving your arms,” she said, “and you try to turn them in the other direction. That’s exactly what I did and they turned around.”
The truck driver, Michael Tombleson, of Lamar Colorado, escaped injury. He declined an on camera interview, but told Denver7, “it was a hell of a ride.”
He said the driver in front of him pulled over, got out and said, “thank you for not hitting me.”
Trooper Reid said Tombleson was cited for reckless driving, reckless endangerment, no proof of insurance and animal cruelty.
The truck is owned by Sutphin Enterprises, which is based out of Lamar, Colorado.
Reid said Tombleson was transporting the cattle from their summer pasture in Utah to Lamar.
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