As cattle trailers and exhibitors left World Dairy Expo on Saturday evening (Oct. 6), one hauler was unlucky enough to be in an accident caused by an inattentive driver. That accident caused the death of one prized cow that had been shown at Expo.
Madison police said 25-year-old driver Katherine J. De Felice of McFarland was cited for inattentive driving after she read a text while driving and allegedly caused the crash.
Her vehicle struck a cattle trailer hauling animals home from Expo, which had just concluded at 5 p.m. and caused the trailer to begin swaying. According to police the driver of the pickup truck pulling the trailer was unable to maintain control and eventually overturned in a ditch with eight Jersey show cattle inside.
The accident happened about 9:45 p.m. on the Beltline just east of the Expo show grounds near the Interstate.
Madison police Sgt. Paul Jacobsen released an accident report that said one cow was killed in the crash but there were no injuries to people. There were also no other crashes as a result of what soon became a bigger scene, he said.
The driver of the truck was only identified as a 45-year-old man from Hastings, MN.
Other World Dairy Expo exhibitors and cattle haulers who were leaving Madison at the same time stopped to help the truck driver and they were able to safely lead the other cows out of the trailer.
Other trailers were summoned to remove the surviving cattle from the scene.
Reports in the Madison media said that several of the cows were taken for veterinary treatment after the crash.
World Dairy Expo spokeswoman Janet Keller told Wisconsin State Farmer that organizers were happy no exhibitors got hurt in the accident and felt it was unfortunate that the show animal had died in the crash, but she said that since the incident happened off the show grounds that Expo had no more official information on it than what was in the police report.
There have been postings related to the accident online, she said, but she didn't want to comment on those. She said she did not know the identity of the cattle that were involved in the crash or their owners.
Local media quoted Madison Police Lt. Stephanie Bradley Wilson who said the cattle involved in the accident were valued at $500,000.