Renda Wade Injured in Crash with Cow on FM 1005 in Mount Union, TX
Mount Union, TX — August 24, 2022, 63-year-old Renda Wade was injured when her vehicle hit a cow in the roadway of FM 1005 in the Mount Union community.
Reports say the incident happened shortly before 9:00 p.m. on FM 1005 near FM 1013. Preliminary investigation suggests Wade was driving Nissan vehicle east on the roadway when she crashed into a cow that was standing in the travel lanes.
Wade suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital.
The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Renda Wade Accident in Mount Union
Generally speaking the law regards livestock as chattel, or non-land property, so letting a cow stand in the road is kind of like leaving a boat there: It's big, it's heavy, it doesn't belong there, and hitting it will almost certainly cause problems.
Leaving that boat in the road would obviously be negligent on its owner's part. If that negligence hurts someone else, the injured victims can hold the boat's owner liable. The same is true when farmers or ranchers let animals roam off their property; as we see in Mount Union, half a ton of beef in the road can make quite a roadblock, and that's something its owner may need to answer for.
However, there are some limitations to that. Livestock owners build walls, barns, fences, corrals, and other barriers to keep their animals from roaming too freely, but things can sometimes damage those barriers. If the damage is sudden and recent, a cow escaping through it might not be the owner's fault in the eyes of the law. However, if the owner left a gate open or didn't fix a fence hole for too long, then that might be considered negligent. In those cases, victims hurt by that negligence could hold the owner responsible.
Right now there are several unanswered questions about this crash: How long the cow was loose, where it came from, how it got out, how fast the vehicle was traveling, what the driver was doing, and many others. The simple narrative of "car hits cow" barely scratches the surface, so I hope investigators round up some more answers in the near future.