Roaming bovines causes problems in South Lake Tahoe |

Roaming bovines causes problems in South Lake Tahoe

A pickup driving east on Pioneer Trail near Al Tahoe Boulevard slammed into a cow crossing the street Saturday night.

The driver of the 2000 white Ford Ranger pickup, Joseph Quellette, 43, from South Lake Tahoe, was not injured but his car was totaled and had to be towed from the scene.

The impact seriously injured the cow forcing an El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputy to shoot it in order to end its suffering.

The cow was hit around 9:30 p.m. while crossing the road to join five other cows milling in an open area adjacent to Al Tahoe. The animals are owned by Shirley Giovaccini, a resident of Genoa, Nev., whose family has kept cows at pasture at High Meadows for 70 years. The pasture is about three miles south of Pioneer trail.

Lisa Lekumberry, Giovaccini’s daughter, said 19 of 70 cows escaped from her mother’s pasture through a hole in their fencing.

“The fence is down because people have cut a trail up there,” she said. “And the cows are ready to go back home to Carson Valley where they spend the winter so they followed the trail.”

Family ranchers were out until 4 a.m. regrouping the cows that had been “spooked” into several groups. Lekumberry said her family reclaimed the cow carcass and is in the process of repairing the fence.

Police were notified of loose cows interfering with traffic around 12:15 p.m. and spent the next three hours corralling the animals onto land owned by Lake Tahoe Community College. El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies also reported that they spent time herding cows the night before the accident occurred.

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