December 31, 1996 in Idaho

Two Men Killed When Snowmobile Hits Cow

From Staff And Wire Reports

Two young men were killed Saturday night when their fast-traveling snowmobile crashed into a cow that had wandered into the middle of a country road.

Artemio Zarate Hernandez, 17, of Asuncion, Mexico, died before ambulance workers arrived. Jose Leopoldo Hernandez, 25, of Inglewood, Calif., died later at Wood River Medical Center in Hailey, said Sgt. Ron Taylor of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department.

The pair had been joyriding with another snowmobile rider that evening when one of their three snowmobiles got stuck in a ditch. The pair doubled up on one machine and started heading back to a ranch for help towing the stranded vehicle. Their friend trailed behind them in another snowmobile, Taylor said.

Speeding toward the ranch, the men apparently did not see the black Angus cow standing in the middle of the road. Their machine struck the animal at about 70 mph, Taylor said.

Their friend, the third snowmobile rider, said the men’s headlights vanished ahead of him. Then he saw the wreckage.

The friend sped off to the ranch and called 911, Taylor said.

Officials arrived to find the men and their green and black 580 Arctic Cat strewn along the road. The cow lay in a ditch about 75 yards away, seemingly lifeless, but it later got to its feet and blended in with the rest of a nearby herd. xxxx

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