Madison police cited a 26-year-old woman for inattentive driving Saturday night after she allegedly caused a crash which resulted in the death of a prize-winning cow returning from the World Dairy Expo.
In a news release, Sgt. Paul Jacobsen laid the blame for the crash on the woman’s decision to read a text message while driving. With her attention diverted, the driver swerved left into a cattle trailer in the next lane, causing the trailer to crash into a ditch and overturn. The crash happened in the eastbound lanes of the Beltline just east of exit 267B to Interstate 39-90 at around 9:45 p.m., according to police.
Inside the trailer were eight prize-winning Jersey cows from the Dairy Expo valued at around $500,000, said Lt. Stephanie Bradley Wilson. One cow died in the crash. The others were led safely from the overturned trailer by other Expo-goers who saw the crash and stopped to help, Jacobsen said.
The condition of the other cows was not clear, although two of them may have been pregnant and taken for veterinary care, Bradley Wilson said. The surviving cows were all taken away in other trailers called in to help. Neither driver was injured.
The driver who allegedly caused the crash was identified by Madison police on Monday morning as Katherine De Felice of McFarland. The truck driver was a 45-year-old man from Hastings, Minn.; it isn’t known if the truck driver owned the cattle, police said.