COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Hundreds of drivers were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic Monday morning after a tractor-trailer carrying over 80 head of cattle overturned on Interstate 285.
Cobb County Police said the livestock trailer flipped as it was attempting to exit from I-285 Eastbound to Interstate 75 North just after 3 a.m. Monday.
Officials said the trailer was carrying 89 head of cattle. Many of the cows escaped from the trailer and were responsible for numerous other wrecks on the interstate.
Within the hour, there was a wreck at I-285 EB at Powers Ferry, the tractor-trailer overturned at the I-285 EB ramp from I-75 and the third accident was at I-285 NB at Highway 41 (Cobb Parkway).
Cobb County Police and Cobb County Animal Services responded to the crash site and corralled the livestock.
"It's incredibly difficult to wrangle them because it's not like a dog or a cat. It's not something small that you can just grab. We're talking about wild...essentially wild beast that have a mind of their own," Sarah O'Hara with Cobb Co. Police said.
As of 12:30 p.m. Monday, police said 87 of the 89 cows were accounted for with 10 of them being deceased.
Cobb County Police are in the process of finishing up recovery operations and working to transport the cows to a facility in Calhoun, Georgia. Police said if you see the two missing cows, to call 911.
Will Bentley with the Georgia Cattleman Association told 11Alive accidents involving livestock are rare. He said roughly a million cattle are produced out of the state and 400,000 to 450,000 get transported each year. Bentley also said that millions of cows from states like Florida also get transported through Georgia.
He said that cattle drivers abide by the same regulations as commercial truck drivers and they are always looking at regulations.
One question many people on the 11Alive Facebook asked was if the weight of the trailer had something to do with the cause of the crash. That cause is still under investigation.
Cows escape after crash on I-285
Brantley said he doesn't think weight was the issue.
"It's not something that I think that it has to do with the amount of cattle on the trailer. I would say that it's hard to place blame without knowing the facts, but if you look around the interstate system in Atlanta there's a lot of growth going on. There's a lot of construction happening. So, you have a lot of lanes that shift rapidly and then you also have some steep and pretty severe curves," he said.
Cobb Police said the curve is known to be dangerous.
"We do know that that curve is typically a deadly curve. That's why there's the hazards and the flashing lights, the marker bumps on the way up to it saying hey, slow down," O'Hara said.