Cattle hauler crash gridlocks westbound traffic on I-80

RIPLEY – On Monday afternoon at approximately 4:30 p.m., a tractor-trailer was attempting to enter the westbound lanes of I-80 from Indiana Toll Road (I-90). 

A preliminary investigation by Trooper Ken Payonk revealed that the driver entered the curve at a speed too fast and lost control of the truck.  The truck, a 2013 Peterbilt operated by Kash Livestock Express LLC, and trailer then entered the westbound lanes of I-80/94 where it rolled over.  The vehicle rolled into the path of a van which resulted in the van striking the overturned vehicle.

As a result of the crash, approximately 18 cattle were released from the trailer with the remaining 72 trapped inside the trailer.  Sixteen cows died at the scene, some of those were due to injuries as a result of the crash and some had to be euthanized by the veterinarians that responded to the scene. 

The driver of the truck, Jared Kroeger, 25, from Lennox, South Dakota, was cited for driving at a speed greater than is reasonable.  Neither of the drivers was injured.  The cattle were being transported from Ohio to Nebraska.

Interstate lanes were shut down for approximately 6 hours with only one lane of traffic open.

Precision Towing was contacted for the removal of the vehicles. Veterinarians were contacted from the Westchester Animal Clinic located in Chesterton, IN for assistance with the injured animals.