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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Truck Driver Nearly Drowns in Molasses

DENVER (CN) - A truck driver nearly drowned in molasses after smashing into a cow, he claims in court.

Thomas Hooten sued the owners of the Black Angus cow he killed on Highway 52 while hauling a load of molasses. He also sued the driver of a pickup he blames for the accident.

The cow "escaped and went onto Highway 2 in the dark of night" in Morgan County, Colo., Hooten says in his April 6 complaint in Federal Court.

Hooten says he had to swerve to avoid John Johnson's pickup, which was backing onto the highway, whereupon he smashed into the cow owned by Naomi and Sean Wood.

Hooten's truck ended up upside-down in a ditch. He "was twisted and pinned within the cab of his truck with severe injuries and could not escape," Hooten says in the complaint, which refers to him throughout as Thomas.

"While trapped and unable to move, Thomas heard a burp and a splash from the molasses entering the cab from his trailer. Thomas tried to hold himself out of the molasses so that he would not drown in it. Thomas feared that he would drown. Soon thereafter Thomas saw some legs outside of his truck cab and Thomas asked for help. A man said 'you killed my fucking cow' or 'you killed my cow,' and then the man left," according to the complaint.

Hooten says he feared he would die, and that as a fireman finally rescued him, he told the fireman, "Tell my wife and kids that I love them."

He seeks damages for negligence, medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and lost income capacity, disfigurement and physical impairment. His wife seeks damages for loss of consortium.

They are represented by Dale Gaar in Denver and Robert Pahlke in Scottsbluff, Neb.

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