TWINFALLS -- U.S. Route 93 has reopened about 10 miles southwest of Twin Falls after an accident involving two trucks hauling cattle trailers closed it for about four hours Wednesday.
Idaho State Police Lieutenant Kevin Haight says the crash happened at approximately 9:20 a.m. when the driver of a vehicle safely slowed to turn off the highway. Haight says the simple act of turning triggered a chain reaction in which three vehicles were damaged, including two cattle trailers.
According to reports, Zane Palmer, 20, of Mountain Home, was driving a 1991 Kenworth semitrailer loaded with cattle. Orville Russell, 70, of Prairie, Idaho, was driving a 2000 Peterbilt semitrailer used for hauling cattle, and Robert Berrett, 71, of Phoenix, Ariz., was driving a 2012 GMC Yukon.
Police say Palmer and Russell were southbound on the highway near milepost 36.5 as they approached the vehicle making a turn. Russell slowed down; however, Palmer crossed into oncoming traffic while attempting to avoid hitting Russell's truck.
The Kenworth truck pulling the trailer loaded with cattle crossed in front of the SUV and was hit, causing the trailer to land on its side.
They were either not paying attention or going too fast for the conditions, Haight said.
However, the mayhem didn't stop there.
A vehicle coming northbound over the hill crest couldn't stop, and they hit the tipped-over trailer, Haight told KTVB. We had the dynamic of several dead cattle, and then also loose cattle that were running all over the place, Haight added.
A Twin Falls County sheriff's deputy had to put six of the cows down.
In total, police say five vehicles were involved in the crash, while three vehicles sustained damage. Miraculously, no one was injured.