Hours after the California Highway Patrol shut down a freeway in Contra Costa County because of horses running onto lanes, officers were dispatched to a stretch of rural highway where a bull hit six cars, officials said.
About 8 p.m. Monday, drivers began calling 911 reporting that a cow (it was actually a bull) was in the eastbound lanes of Highway 4 in an unincorporated area of the county northwest of Richmond.
The bull had broken loose from a nearby farm — officers don't know which — and wandered onto the four-lane highway, where evening commuters did their best to dodge the animal, said CHP Officer Rick Rohrback.
About two minutes after the first calls came in, another wave of reports stated that the bull had collided with six cars, causing moderate injuries to one driver and minor injuries to two other people, Rohrback said.
The bull, however, perished.
According to Rohrback, the unusual thing about Monday night's incident was simply where it happened.
"Usually we get calls about them on county roads, mostly in the eastern part of the county," Rohrback said. "Typically [it's] not on a freeway."
The incident was one of two farm-related hazards Contra Costa County commuters faced Monday.
During the morning commute, drivers on Interstate 680 were stunned when two horses that broke free from a home in Alamo ran onto the freeway and galloped down the center divider and then onto northbound lanes.
It took about 30 minutes for them to be corralled and escorted off the freeway. No one, including the horses, were injured.