A cattle rancher from Meeteetse said even though an overturned cattle truck is something you never want to see, the reaction of Wyoming people to such a tragedy is something to behold.
Early Wednesday morning, Dustin Taylor of Meeteetse was checking his Facebook feed when he saw a cattle truck had been in an accident near Boysen Reservoir.
Reading that the truck was from Thermopolis, Taylor called a friend who owns a trucking company in the area and found the truck belonged to him.
The trucker took Taylor up on his offer of help, so the rancher, who was at his farm near Shoshoni, jumped in his truck — with horse in tow — and drove to the scene.
“When I got there, I saw the sun rising over an eerie site,” Taylor said. “The cow truck tipped over and was steaming through the first rays of sunlight over the East.”
Taylor told Cowboy State Daily that no people were injured in the wreck but between 20 and 30 calves were killed.
Taylor’s job was to pull the dead cattle out of the truck with his horse. He said he would pull four or five calves out, then the Missouri Valley Fire Department would cut another opening in the trailer and he’d start over again.
“My horse was pretty wore out by the time the four-wheeler showed up,” Taylor said. “I was pretty glad the four-wheeler showed up. He could pull them out and not make everything tired.”
Most of the calves lived, he said. And only one calf had to be put down.
Taylor wasn’t the only one who stopped.
Many others came over to lend a hand as well — something that Taylor called “the Wyoming cowboy way.” He said despite the accident being a “horrible deal,” everyone made the best of it.
“There was another guy, Scott Campbell, who was on his way to Lysite to haul cattle in his semi and he stopped to help,” Taylor said.
“He was a shitty mess by the time he came out of the trailer from helping,” he said. “It was pretty cool to see how many people stopped and got out to help.”
By the time Taylor drove through the area again around 3 p.m., it was all cleaned up.
Taylor had nothing but compliments for everyone who stopped to help.
Mentioning firefighters by name — Cody Martin, Jon McConahay, Steven Weber, and Walt Neil — Taylor said they “worked their asses off busting the trailer apart to save those calves,” Taylor said on his Facebook feed.
“Ryan Bros. trucking from Thermopolis showed up in force and their team was nothing but incredible,” he said. “From start to finish, that company did nothing but help in a bad situation.”