Monday evening just before 6 p.m., the Jerauld County Sheriff’s Office along with Wessington Springs and Alpena Volunteer Fire Departments responded to a rollover accident involving a semi truck and trailer loaded with cattle. The accident took place three miles north of the SD Highway 281/34 junction in Jerauld County.
Emergency responders battled blizzard conditions while conducting traffic control around the semi rig that was completely blocking all northbound traffic and some southbound motorists. The accident caused the trailer to detach from the truck and was laying on its side in the ditch when first responders arrived on the scene. The truck driver was alone in the vehicle and no injuries were reported, however, some casualties involving cattle occurred.
Members of both fire departments worked together to offload the cattle until late into the night. Weber said that given the severe weather conditions, the cattle were moved to shelter nearby and given food and water overnight.
“Both fire departments worked together seamlessly and undertook a tremendous amount of work in order to get the cattle out of the trailer in treacherous conditions,” Weber said. “Both fire departments are so responsive, no matter what was thrown at them they figured it out.”
Sheriff Weber said that contributing factors to the crash are still under investigation.