Three cows killed in Tuesday morning crashes in Amherst 

  • Three cows in a field. STOCK PHOTO

  • —Submitted Photo

  • Severe front-end damage is shown Tuesday on a Sunderland police cruiser that collided with a cow on Route 116 in the early hours of the morning. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Thursday, November 01, 2018

AMHERST — Three cows were killed and a Sunderland Police cruiser and a tractor-trailer truck were damaged in an early Tuesday morning crash on Route 116 near the Amherst-Sunderland town line, according to Amherst Police.

Amherst Detective Marcus Humber said Amherst officers responded at 3:07 a.m. after the Sunderland cruiser, traveling in the 50-mph zone, struck one of the cows that had wandered from a nearby field at 485 Sunderland Road.

Just after the initial crash, a tractor-trailer passed by and, in attempting to avoid hitting the cruiser, ran over two more cows on the highway.

All three cows perished at the scene and were removed from the road, Humber said. No personal injuries were reported. Police cleared the scene at 5:49 a.m.

Sunderland Police Chief Erik Demetropoulos said the officer in the cruiser was on routine patrol, and not responding to an emergency call, at the time of the crash. The cruiser was preparing to turn around at Old Sunderland Road.

The officer was checked at the scene by Amherst Fire Department paramedics and brought back to the Sunderland station by his colleagues. The cruiser, a 2015 Ford, sustained severe front-end damage and may need engine work, as well, Demetropoulos said. It is one of four cruisers used by the department.

“We will make it work for now,” Demetropoulos said about losing one of the frontline vehicles.

Joseph Rocasah, who lives at the home next to the field, said he has been allowing his cousin to use the field for the Belted Galloway cows, sometimes called Oreo cows because of their prominent black and white stripes. He was awoken by the commotion outside and an ambulance responding as a precaution.

“We’re trying to grasp what happened there,” Rocasah said.

The animals were among several cows grazing in a field surrounded by an electrical fence. Rocasah said he suspects that the fence was compromised in some way, possibly by other animals.

“It’s so unfortunate,” Rocasah said. “It’s one of the worst scenarios you can have as a farmer.”

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.