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Holy Cow! Three Crashes, Three Dead Cows in Three Separate Areas of West Flagler

| February 28, 2018

A pick-up truck on State Road 100 was first to crash into a cow at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, totaling the vehicle. (FCSO)

A pick-up truck on State Road 100 was first to crash into a cow at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, totaling the vehicle. (FCSO)

The cows were wandering all night–cows as pitch black as the night. By dawn, three of them were dead, a car, a pick-up truck and a larger truck were smashed up and had to be towed, and three drivers, including a law enforcement officer who was driving in an unmarked car, were shaken up, but unhurt.


The three crashes took place on State Road 100 in western Flagler County at 11 p.m. Tuesday and this morning at 1:30 and 4. The owner of the cows has yet to be identified: authorities are attempting to track him or her down, based on the tags found on the cows.

First to strike a cow was a pick-up truck driven by Douglas Ziggler, in the area of 13351 State Road 100, in the area of Andalusia and Shell Bluff, not far from Crescent Lake. The large parcels of land in the area on either side of State Road 100 there are owned by the Cowart family—most of them by Walton Cowart, some by David Cowart. A bit further south from the original crash zone, a 250-acre parcel on the south side of the road is owned by Stephen Kennerly. It’s all agricultural land with a few sparse residences. Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies contacted members of the Cowart family, among them David Cowart, and one member of the family claimed ownership.

Ziggler was not injured. The pick-up truck was totaled. Roger’s Towing was summoned to tow the vehicle. The westbound lane was shut down for almost an hour.

The tag on one of the two cows whose owners have yet to be identified. (FCSO)

The tag on one of the two cows whose owners have yet to be identified. (FCSO)

At 1:30 a.m., same scenario, this time involving Johnny Valdes, an off-duty Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy. The cow was killed. Valdes was not injured. The vehicle was totaled, its front end looking as if it had been in a head-on collision with another vehicle. It might as well have been: an adult cow weighs on average 1 ton, and can vary from 1,000 to 1,800 pounds. An average car weighs a little over 3,000 pounds.

But that crash took place by the intersection of County Road 305 and Lake Disston Drive, miles to the south from the first crash. Every parcel in that area is under different ownership, with E.B. Conoley and Clara Townsend separately owning the lion’s share of the acreage. One ranch owner in the area was contacted and told sheriff’s deputies the cows weren’t his. A Clegg family member volunteered to drive out to check on the cows—if they weren’t hers, she might be able to tell whose they’d be, she told authorities.

The Putnam Sheriff’s Office called in its own tower from Putnam.

The third crash took place at 4:31 a.m.: cow vs. Mac truck, with trailer. The cow was killed. The driver of the trailer, Joseph diMattina, survived unscathed. The truck’s front end was considerably damaged, but not as much as the other two vehicles. That crash was just off Cody’s Corner at State Road 11 and County Road 304, not far to the east of the second crash, where the land parcels are a lot more subdivided and the property owners more numerous.

As of early this afternoon, the cows’ owner, or owners, had not been identified in the two later incidents. “But the cows did have their ears tagged,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said. “Somebody owns them, they just haven’t tracked down who.”

The unmarked Putnam County Sheriff's deputy's car. (FCSO)

The unmarked Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy’s car. (FCSO)

The Mac truck, post-collision. (FCSO)

The Mac truck, post-collision. (FCSO)

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20 Responses for “Holy Cow! Three Crashes, Three Dead Cows in Three Separate Areas of West Flagler”

  1. YankeeExPat says:

    The question unanswered …were they Good Cows on the hoof or Bad Cows on the hoof?

    Wayne La Pierre

  2. S. Peterson says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t know whether to laugh or cry the way this is written. I could cry for the poor cows though.

  3. Eric says:

    MOOOOOOOve out of the way

  4. Anonymous says:

    Unmarked patrol cars should be illegal. This caw was not in the moo-ed. Why are tax payers in Putnam paying for an unmarked patrol car to be in Flagler county and at such late hour. Sounds like Putnam Co tax payers should be calling for answers and explanation!

  5. Whatever says:

    Did it ever occur to you he could be on official business? You my friend are part of the problem with America today.

  6. Trumpster says:

    Same for St, Johns County Deputies living in Flagler County. I see a SJCS marked car at a house on the main canal all the time. Must cost a bundle to commute to commute between St. Augustine and Palm Coast on a daily basis but at least the LEO is getting a free ride?

  7. Rick Kang says:

    Another three examples that SR 100 is a Very Dangerous Highway! Lower the speed limit 50mph! Also, will the cow owner pay for the accidents!

  8. deb stolley says:

    maybe the Putnam County Deputy lives in Flagler County and was on his way home from work.

  9. Really says:

    You can’t be serious. Everyone always has something to complain about. Flagler deputies take their cars home, too. Just a thought.

  10. Steven Wood says:

    Believe the cow owners are responsible so lucky no-one was hurt bad.

  11. pj says:

    Don,t worry i hit 2 cows on us1 22 years ago in a cobra II mustang .and the sheriff thought i hit a tree and was going to give me a ticket for hit and run until they found cow hair on my car and they were Strickland cows too.The sheriff said to give them 5 minutes and if you can find them they are your but we never found them . i bet you my last dollar the sheriff found them first . I hit the first one with the front of my car and the second one i slid in to with the side of my car.

  12. People with guns kill people says:

    Maybe we should ban cars….

  13. Bartholomew says:

    I hit a limousine Stud bull around Cody’s Corner around 95. It totaled my full size conversion van. We could not determine the owner. What I heard then was the owner of the animal was responsible. Everyone was absolutely great about it. They kept asking if I wanted them to grind the meat up for me and I said no, I don’t want it. Then they asked if they could have it.

    Someone told me the bulls get out kind of when they want and that a fence is like a suggestion for the bull when it was feeling mellow

  14. Jolene dehart says:

    The problem is paying for unnecessary equipment and unnecessary officers as well as tanks and military type equipment. At that hour I’m not seeing what official business an officer from another county would be required to do.

  15. Bill White says:

    The most shocking part of this story is that no one was hurt. I find that unlikely, I deal with auto accidents and injuries on a regular basis in my law practice and I can say based upon the condition of the 2 passenger vehicles, that these people were probably very sore the following day and may have suffered significant soft tissue injuries. It Is human nature to say “I am ok” aftern an accident only to wake up the next morning unable to function normally.

  16. Algonquin J. Calhoun says:

    Hey Trumpster, maybe Obama cut the fences.

  17. snapperhead says:

    Eat mor chikin

  18. Bc. says:

    Sounds like Bill White is looking for a client

  19. Anonymous says:

    It would be a whole lot cheaper to just go to McDonald’s if you wanted a hamburger.

  20. Rick Kang says:

    The facts remain that the SR roads with speed limits of 60+mph are very DANGEROUS! So be Very ALERT while driving and watch out for CRAZY drivers and CRAZY cows!

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