A driver and his passengers escaped injury after hitting a cow Saturday night on U.S. Highway 550 north of Aztec.
According to New Mexico State Police, a 2008 GMC pickup, driven by a 76-year-old man from Bloomfield, was traveling south on Highway 550 when the vehicle struck a cow that was on the road around 5:45 p.m., near milepost 173, a couple miles south of the Colorado state line.
After the cow was struck by the pickup, the same cow was hit two more times on Highway 550 by two different southbound vehicles: a 2001 Toyota driven by a 36-year-old woman from Bayfield and a 2018 Toyota driven by a 22-year-old woman from Aztec.
A State Police spokesman wrote in an email to The Durango Herald that the cow was killed. Other cows were on the road, but only one was hit.
“It is undetermined why the cows were on the roadway,” the spokesman wrote. “Officers were on scene investigating the crash for over 2½ hours.”
None of the drivers or passengers were injured, and seat belts appear to have been used properly, State Police said. Alcohol and drugs are not suspected factors, and no enforcement action was taken on any of the drivers.
According to State Police, the cow that was struck and killed did not have any tags or brand to identify its owner.
“New Mexico State Police is currently working in collaboration with N.M. Livestock/Cattle Inspectors to determine the owner of the cow,” the spokesman said.
Once the owner is determined, the owner could face possible criminal charges.
The spokesman said State Police “did not get any notifications that the road was shut down, just that the officers on scene slowed down traffic to warn other motorists.”
email@example.comThe type of vehicle driven by the 22-year-old woman has been corrected. Incorrect information was provided to The Durango Herald.