By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Drowsy driver crash ends with officials counting sheep
sheep accident
The Carver family from Sanger happened across the highway collision and helped get all the sheep rounded up and over to the animal shelter (Photo contributed by Turlock Animal Services).

A traffic collision on Highway 99 overturned a livestock trailer sending sheep roaming among the traffic.

The two-vehicle collision resulted in one driver being transported to a hospital and a few sheep with minor injuries.

The collision was reported to the California Highway Patrol around 9:40 a.m. Monday on northbound Highway 99, near Monte Vista Avenue.

Fernando Baltazar, 20, of Ceres was driving a 2014 Chevrolet SUV in the fast lane. Baltazar started to drowse and allowed his vehicle to drift across the lanes, said CHP spokesperson Officer Tom Olsen.

The SUV struck a trailer that was being pulled by a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Orfil Gutierrez, 41, of Chowchilla.

The impact caused the truck and the trailer to both overturn down an embankment. The SUV went off the shoulder of the highway but stayed upright, Olsen said. Twenty sheep were in the trailer and after the collision were roaming around the highway, Olsen said.

The Carver family from Sanger were headed home on southbound Highway 99. They saw the collision and stopped to help, because they happened to be hauling an empty trailer, according to the Turlock Animal Services unit, which was called out to the scene.

Traffic lanes were closed while authorities rounded up the sheep in the center divide and the Carvers loaded them into the trailer. They were then transported to the Turlock Animal Shelter, where they were reclaimed by the family that owns them. The animal shelter said that some of the sheep were “banged up a bit, but they were in great shape all things considered.”