Semi accident turns loose cows

Semi tractor trailer containing cattle / KHQA's Melissa Shriver

Cattle were on the loose and traffic was congested on some Hannibal streets today after a tractor trailer accident at the intersection of Highway 61 and MM.

It happened around 8:45 this morning when an Iowa truck driver heading North lost control of his semi, causing it to overturn on James Road, partially on the Casanos parking lot.

The cattle were bound for St. Joseph, Missouri at the time of the accident.

The driver was unharmed, but some of the cattle died during the accident.

At least one of the animals had to be euthanized.

But many of the cattle were alive and kicking, even after the accident.

Two cows even managed to escape....turning the streets of Hannibal into something out of the wild west.

Employees at Casanos were beginning a normal day when the semi came crashing into their parking lot.

Matt Harvey, Casanos General Manager said, "When it initially hit the ground the owner called 911 and I ran out with the fire extinguisher to detain the cows."

Due to his efforts, only two cows made a fast break to freedom.

One eyewitness said he saw a cow get out of the trailer and head east on James Road. That's when he apparently hit a truck....but left the scene in a hurry.

But the arrest of one cow wasn't without some doing.

Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis said, "The first animal we apprehended on Settles street the animal was in a vacant lot and charged the animal control vehicle, head butted the vehicle."

Matthew Hawkins was heading home when he took a picture. "There was a bull in the yard and the next thing I know two cowboys jumped out of a truck and lassoed the bull."

Men on horseback and their backup posse in trucks and trailers took Hannibal on, lassoing up the missing cows.

Bruce Smith and his team roping partner chased the cows who apparently didn't discriminate on where in this paved paradise they chose to roam.

Smith said, "We're loping down Highway 61 with a cow who couldn't decide where to go. We saw everything on the west side of town...from Market Street to Highway 36."

This cow's final stand took place here in the Chestnut street area. They normally use this skill in cowboy competitions...but Tuesday that talent was put to good use.

Meanwhile...back at the truck...Eyewitnesses could see the sides of trailer thumping, as cattle attempted to break out.

Emergency response crews used metal cutters to create a door in what had been the roof of the release the cows into waiting trailers.

It took several trailers to load all the cows. From Hannibal they were taken to a local sale barn.

Police are still investigating the exact cause of accident.


UPDATED: October 26 at 12:05 p.m.

Emergency units and assisting personnel are still on scene attempting to remove the cattle and the vehicle from the roadway after a semi tractor trailer accident this morning.

On Tuesday morning at 8:44 a.m. officers of the Hannibal Police Department were called to the intersection of Highway 61 and MM in reference to a semi tractor trailer which had overturned. It was reported there were cattle in the roadway and others trapped inside the trailer. The driver, Nicholas B. Peck of Audubon IA, told officers he was transporting cattle to St. Joseph, Mo. While traveling north bound through the intersection of Highway 61 and MM, he apparently lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn and come to rest across James Rd and partially in the Cassano TMs Restaurant parking lot. Peck reported there was a total of 59 cattle in the trailer. Two of the cattle escaped, with one eventually being located in the 1900 block of Settles Street in a vacant lot. Upon officers TM arrival, the animal charged from the lot and rammed an Animal Control vehicle. Officers were able to contain the animal until they were assisted by local residents on horseback who roped and secured the animal in a livestock trailer. The second animal was later contained in the backyard of a residence in the 2200 block of Chestnut. The horsemen who had assisted on Settles arrived and secured the animal as they did previously.

At the scene of the accident, a veterinarian had been called to assist with the care and removal of the trapped animals. Initial reports state that one animal with significant injuries had to be euthanized and several were found to be deceased. The remaining animals, once removed from the trailer, will be transported to the Palmyra Sale Barn.

At the time of this release, emergency units and assisting personnel are still on scene attempting to remove the cattle and the vehicle from the roadway.

The driver of the vehicle reported no injuries at the time of this report. The investigation of this accident continues and a future release will be made as information is available.


UPDATED: October 26 at 11:59 a.m.

The cattle are starting to be off loaded from the trailer that overturned.

At least three cows got loose after the accident, but two of the three have managed to be rounded up.

The third one is still on the loose.


A semi tractor trailer carrying cattle overturned in Hannibal this morning.

Melissa Shriver is on the scene at U.S. 61 and James Road.

She says that 61 is open but that James Road is closed.

At least two of the cows have managed to escape and are roaming the area, while the other cattle are being loaded onto other trailers that have been brought to the scene.

We'll have more details as they become available.