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Dead cows strewn across Utah freeway after speeding semitruck crashes

All roads involved are now open.

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Emergency crews respond to a crashed semi truck hauling cattle on an Interstate 84 overpass in Riverdale Wednesday, November 22, 2017. While taking the I-15 southbound ramp onto eastbound I-84 at 11:30 a.m., the weight in the semi truck shifted, and the truck tipped over, according to Utah Highway Patrol officials. The truck driver had been speeding, UHP said.

A semitruck hauling cattle crashed on an Interstate 84 overpass Wednesday in Riverdale, spilling cows onto Interstate 15 below and causing miles of traffic backups on the southbound lanes of the freeway.

While taking the I-15 southbound ramp onto eastbound I-84 at 11:30 a.m., the weight in the semitruck shifted, and the truck tipped over, according to Utah Highway Patrol officials.

The truck driver had been speeding, UHP said.

“We don’t blame the road for this one, we blame the drivers,” Hopper said, adding, “it’s certainly something that was preventable.”

The driver was not injured in the crash, which, as of 12:45 p.m., had backed up traffic about 5 miles.

As of 1:15 p.m., officials didn’t know how many cows died in the crash, but Hopper confirmed that some cows had died. Hopper also said some cows fell from the I-84 ramp onto I-15, but no vehicles were hit.

I-15 opened back up just before 3:30 p.m., according to a tweet from UDOT.

“The way I understand it is that [the cows] all off the freeway at this point,” UDOT spokesman Zach Whitney said at 3:40 p.m.

The crash had closed traffic heading south on I-15 at 31st Street. UDOT officials also closed the I-15 ramp to eastbound Interstate 84.

Shortly after 5 p.m., UHP Trooper Lawrence Hopper said all roads involved had reopened.

A similar crash happened last year, on Jan. 20, when a semitrailer rig carrying cattle crashed in roughly the same spot, on the ramp from I-15 to I-84. That crash killed 70 cows. No humans were injured.

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