A herd of cows escaped onto a Canadian highway last Friday and caused a massive traffic delay.
Imagine being on the road late at night. It’s around 11:30. You’re probably tired, and definitely, just want to get to wherever you’re going as quickly as possible. That wasn’t an option to Toronto, Ontario drivers last Friday due to a highway closure that lasted for nearly 7 hours.
Highway 401, one of the largest and busiest highways in North America, had its express lanes closed for over half a dozen hours last week after a tractor-trailer carrying cattle crashed into the center divider. This caused the trailer to block most of the Westbound lanes but also tore a gash in the size of the carrier that allowed a herd of cattle to escape.
Drivers last Friday would have been able to spot a small herd of roughly a dozen cows making their way down the emergency lane. Snapshots of this made their way to social media as drivers took out their cell phones to capture the strange scene.
Unfortunately, the cows and their antics were just the start of the traffic chaos. According to the CBC, the Ontario Provincial Police took several hours just to wrangle the herd and get them into a new carrier. Then it was several more hours to clear the debris and get the highway reopened.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt wrote on the official OPP Twitter page that the highway was closed due to the escaped cattle, as well as posted a picture of the herd in the middle of the freeway.
#hwy401 westbound Express lanes closed at Hurontario St for collision involving a caddle carrier. Cows loose on Hwy401 in Mississauga. #Mississauga #Collision #HeavyRescue401 #CowsLooseOnTheHighway pic.twitter.com/A6Ol6SCbqx— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) March 30, 2019
Some travelers became enraged by the extended closure and took out their frustrations on Twitter. News outlets managed to capture the strange scene on video while also getting interview footage with several locals.
VIDEO: Cows roaming all over Highway 401 near Hurontario St in #Mississauga after the truck they were in struck the bull nose & split the side open. Driver to hospital, non-life threatening. @IAFF1212 and @OPP_HSD worked to corral the cows. @MississaugaFES @firechieftim pic.twitter.com/DuONklEhcw— Jeremy Cohn (@JeremyCohnTV) March 30, 2019
Many of the cows were shaken, but those that could stand were taken to their destination on a new carrier. The driver of the crashed truck was taken to a nearby hospital with reportedly “moderate” injuries. The highway was reopened early Saturday morning.