We're sad to report that there were 24 bovine casualties as a result of this morning's wreck of a truck carrying 37 head of cattle. Several of the beefs that didn't make it were shot by police to prevent the animals from suffering -- which is refreshingly a-okay with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
"None of these cows were going to have a humane death, anyway," PETA senior researcher Dan Paden tells New Times. "It might as well happen as the result of a well-placed gunshot."
Paden says he's seen a lot of these types of wrecks -- pigs, chickens, turkeys -- and in most cases, the injured, suffering animals often are an afterthought. Priority number one, he says: salvage the animals that are still worth money and deal with the suffering animals later.
"The fact of the matter is these types of wrecks happen all the time in the United States," he continues. "All too often it's a second priority to tend to the injured animals."
Paden says the problem with transporting livestock is that slaughter houses often are too far from the farms or ranches that supply the animals. Drivers of the trucks, he says, often get over-tired and make mistakes.
"A lot of the wrecks I've seen happen in the middle of the day on a straight road," he says.
While this morning's wreck didn't exactly happen in the middle of the day (3 a.m. is when the truck reportedly went off Interstate 17 just north of Black Canyon City), driver error is apparently still the culprit.
DPS spokesman Bart Graves tells New Times the driver of the truck, 37-year-old Tucker Green, of Box Elder, South Dakota, had been driving for about 15 hours straight, without a break and on very little sleep.
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Green's been charged with failure to control his vehicle.
Graves confirms that several of the cows were shot by officers, but he says many died on impact during the wreck.
As for the 13 survivors of the wreck: They are heading to a slaughter house in Phoenix.