The driver of a semi-truck full of livestock that overturned Oct. 25 in Durango has been charged with reckless driving, police said Thursday. It was also revealed that at least three cattle died in the rollover.
Durango police Sgt. Rita Warfield said the driver, Travis Phillips, was charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor that could carry a fine of $50 to $1,000.
Warfield added that Phillips did not show levels of intoxication when given a breath test on scene. He is scheduled to appear Dec. 30 in La Plata County Court.
The accident occurred about 3:30 p.m. at Camino del Rio and U.S. Highway 160. Phillips was traveling eastbound on Highway 160 and claims he lost his brakes coming down the incline. He was carrying 83 yearling cattle in the trailer. The trailer tipped onto its side, and firefighters cut through the metal to free the animals.
At least three livestock died.
"We were told three died," Warfield said. "I don't know if more died since then, because it was a pretty bad tumble."
Phillips was driving the semitrailer from a ranch in Dolores to southwest Kansas, where he lives. Witnesses on scene said Phillips was driving erratically for several miles on Highway 160 before his brakes went out.
It took emergency responders several hours to extract the livestock, which were enclosed in a makeshift corral on a vacant lot next to the railroad station. No other drivers were injured, and Phillips sustained minor scratches.