Death toll from train collision with herd of sheep tops 60
A Box Elder County sheepherding family was still tallying its losses Friday, nearly a week after a Union Pacific Railroad freight train plowed into a flock of their animals.
Box Elder County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Potter said he understood the toll had topped 60 out of the estimated 100 animals that were struck by the train just after midnight Sunday morning, about two miles north of Honeyville.
Many of the animals survived the initial trauma only to succumb to their injuries in the days that followed.
It was snowing heavily and dark as the train came upon the sheep, which had wandered onto the tracks. The 100 animals hit were part of a herd of about 1,000 head, owner Marlon Bingham told sheriff's deputies.
It was the Union Pacific crew that called 911 to report the incident.
"It's pretty common place where sheep graze on the fields near the tracks this time of year before [shepherds] begin moving them into the desert for the winter," Potter said. "This time, the sheep got onto the tracks and the train couldn't stop in time."
Calls to the Bingham home Friday afternoon seeking comment were not immediately returned. However, he, his wife and some herders had reportedly spent all day last Sunday retrieving the carcasses.