About a dozen cattle have perished after a semi tractor trailer overturned in northeast Iowa Wednesday night.
The Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office says the wreck occurred on U.S. Highway 150 just north of Calmar at about 10 p.m. The crash report indicates that 33-year-old Anton Tomash of Alta Vista was driving southbound when he reached over to get a jug of water from the passenger side of the semi cab while also talking on the telephone using a hands free headset. The tires of the semi dropped off the pavement of the roadway onto the west shoulder, Tomash lost control of the truck, and the semi tractor and trailer overturned.
The trailer was carrying approximately 33 finished cattle. Several cattle were thrown from the trailer, as well as several cattle were trapped in the overturned trailer. Approximately 12 cattle died as a result of the rollover.
The cattle, owned by Lloyd Bjergum of Decorah, were valued at over $31,000. Damages to the semi and tractor trailer were estimated at $200,000. Tomash was cited for failure to maintain control.