121 sheep killed in semitruck rollover in Iron County; STGnews Videocast

CEDAR CITY — A semitruck pulling two trailers carrying livestock rolled on state Route 56, 10 miles west of Cedar City, Thursday afternoon, injuring the driver and killing 121 sheep. The accident closed down S.R. 56 for three hours.

A rig pulling two trailers full of sheep rolled over while traveling east to Cedar City, Highway 56, milepost 50, Cedar City, Utah, March 19, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
A rig pulling two trailers full of sheep rolled over while traveling east to Cedar City, Highway 56, milepost 50, Cedar City, Utah, March 19, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Sgt. Ryan Bauer, of the Utah Highway Patrol, said between 320 and 330 sheep were in the twin trailers when they rolled for an unknown reason just past noon.  The trailers did not only roll but swapped ends and landed upside down.

Wade Webster, son of the rancher who owned the sheep, said the truck had been heading east toward Cedar City but, after the accident, ended up facing west toward Enterprise.

Webster said he was in Cedar City unloading sheep he had been hauling in a different vehicle when he realized the semitruck was no longer behind him. When he started to check and found out about the accident, he quickly headed back to the accident site.

The community response to the accident was amazing, Webster said. There were local farmers and neighbors on four-wheelers and people with livestock trailers helping to round up the surviving sheep.

Webster also praised Cedar City Fire Chief Mike Phillips, who took immediate charge of the scene when he arrived.

A rig pulling two trailers full of sheep rolled over while traveling east to Cedar City, Highway 56, milepost 50, Cedar City, Utah, March 19, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
A rig pulling two trailers full of sheep rolled over while traveling east to Cedar City, Highway 56, milepost 50, Cedar City, Utah, March 19, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

“Chief Phillips directed his men and others to cut out the sides of the trailer so the panicked sheep could escape,” Webster said, “saying, ‘That’s some man’s livelihood right there.'”

The driver complained of leg pain and was transported by ambulance to Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City.

Cleanup of the accident continued throughout the afternoon, and the highway was reopened to traffic at 3 p.m.

St. George News reporter Carin Miller reported from the scene

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9 Comments

  • fun bag March 19, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    what a terrible waste of good sheeps

    • makkie March 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      Well there goes your date for saturday huh?
      I guess Rosie Palms will have to do…….

  • Scarlet March 19, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I have 2 things to say: 1) Awww poor little sheep, so very sad. Run surviving sheep, run!!!
    2) … driver
    Ed. ellipsis

    • Scarlet March 20, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Jerky bad driver, those are living creatures. Slow down, drive safely. All the driver sees is $$$$ signs. Not flesh and blood. I hate seeing the animal transport trucks, it makes me so sad every time. I just want to free them all.

    • fun bag March 20, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      you’re right, if they were headed to Cedar, they were spared a much worse fate by being killed. Don’t even pretend y’all don’t know what I’m talkin about. Lotta sick people up in Cedar.

      • mesaman March 20, 2015 at 7:21 pm

        Your usual bile-laden comment, scumbag.

  • sagemoon March 20, 2015 at 8:28 am

    The pictures of the dead sheep being scooped up by construction equipment and disposed of really tugs at the heart strings. I hope the sheep owner is able to recover his losses.

  • Brian March 20, 2015 at 11:51 am

    In an unrelated story, the first annual Enterprise Lamb Chop Cook-Off begins Friday night.

  • bobinrohnertpark July 21, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Amazing how they must pack those sheep in there.

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