Arkansas 911 News

25 Cows Dead; Lightning Strike Is To Blame – GARLAND COUNTY


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Garland County Sheriff’s 911 Dispatch received a sad call this morning where a rancher reported that 25 of his cows and baby cows were mysteriously killed overnight.  He said that he was unable to locate any signs of foul play and wanted the sheriff to investigate.

GCSO Patrol Sergeant Martineau was made aware of the situation and called out Garland County Emergency Management Deputy Director Bobby King to assist with the investigation.

(L) Garland County Sheriff’s Patrol Deputy Tatum & (R) Garland County Department Of Emergency Management Deputy Director King

GCSO Patrol Deputy Tatum and Garland County ADEM Dep. Director King arrived on Devon Lane to find 25 cows mysteriously dead along a barbed wire fenced row of trees.  They began the investigation by making sure the scene was safe and that they were not in danger of being killed themselves due to any possible hazards at the scene.  Then, they spoke with witnesses.   Tommy Rigsby, owner of the cattle, said that he heard an especially loud lightning strike in this area around midnight last night.

Evidence at the scene included the barbed wire fence.  Parts of the fencing were blown into pieces a couple of inches in length and had been melted on the ends.  With all things considered, everything pointed towards lightning strike as the cause for the deaths.

Garland County ADEM Dep. Director King said that the Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission were advised of the situation immediately and provided guidance as required/requested with regard to this event.

Mr. Rigsby has been in touch with his insurance company regarding the loss and is standing by to find out what his options are as far as any possible claim he could make against this huge, tragedy of a loss.  The cattle that were lost in this lightning strike are valued at approximately $30,000.

Mr. Rigsby said that the blessing of the day was the birth of a new cow that took place across the field while we were all there on scene.

(C) The baby cow that was born this morning.