Car crashes into cow in Chaves County

Car crashes into cow in Chaves County

The Chaves County Sheriffs Office reported someone crashed into a cow and got injured.

CHAVES COUNTY, N.M. – The Chaves County Sheriffs Office reported someone crashed into a cow and got injured.

The sheriff says the person driving could have died and says surprisingly it happens more often than not. But who is at fault when you hit a cow?

“When someone hits a cow, it causes serious damage to the car as well as the injury to people,” said Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington. “I’ve even seen people lose their lives when they hit a cow.”

The mother of the person driving took to social media to say her son is fine, but the cow in this crash didn’t make it.

This crash left us wondering, just who is responsible if you hit a cow on the road?

“An owner of livestock has a duty to care for his property as a reasonable man. And he may be liable for injuries to motorist resulting from collision with his animals due to his negligence, the problem is proving negligence,” said Herrington. 

New Mexico is an open range state, meaning:

“In the state of New Mexico, you don’t have to have a fence,” Herrington said. “It is the responsibility of the driver of the car to be vigilant and always be looking forward, always paying attention to the roadway.”

Not only will they have to pay to get their car fixed, but also for the livestock.

“If you injure livestock, that you not only have to pay for that animal, but whatever animal that animal could have produced, or if it’s a milk cow or something like that to milk it could have produced,” said Herrington. 

The same goes for goats, sheeps, and horses. A cow alone can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500.

It’s not clear yet what will happen in this case, but Herrington says people should always pay attention.

“People need to understand here in the state of New Mexico it is a free-range state, that the fences are to keep you out not to keep cows in or livestock,” said Herrington.