An off-duty police officer happened to be in the right place at the right time when a herd of more than 70 calves that broke loose from a nearby farm and sprinted down an Indiana highway blew by his car, according to a report.
“I’ve been involved in many unique situations previously, but not something with this many animals on the roadway,” said Capt. Derek Allen from the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office, the Associated Press reported.
One woman told the South Bend Tribune that she hoped to see a bit of wildlife on the road, but that when she saw 75 Holstein calves racing down the roadway, she didn’t imagine it would happen that quickly.
"It's a herd of cows running directly at us in the passing lane in the opposite direction,” Melissa Kuczmanski told the Tribune and called it “kind of a joyous moment."
“I was looking for the universe to send me some really cool wildlife sightings, and boom,” Kuczmanski said.
Allen was nearby in his police car on Saturday when he saw the pack of cows moving down the highway. He said he made a quick U-turn and got in front of the herd and drove ahead with his police lights flashing in order to warn oncoming traffic.
Allen told the South Bend Tribune that “these cows weren’t just walking, they were at a full gallop.”
LaPorte County Det. Jim Fish, a few volunteer firefighters and even some onlookers jumped into action to help corral the calves as they traveled south.
Some of the cows were rounded up near a fenced area between CR 600 and CR 700 South. The majority of the herd continued to move onto Range Road — a few miles north of Kingsford Heights, the AP reported.
Fortunately no injuries were reported and all the cows were accounted for and safe. Allen attributed that to the department’s “take-home-car program,” which allowed him to drive home in his duty vehicle.
“It is very beneficial to serving the citizens of the county, and in this specific instance, it worked out very well," he said.
Later in the day, Allen posted on the department's Twitter: "Definitely a unique afternoon... The calves were successfully secured and reunited with each other following today’s big adventure. On behalf of the owners, thank you to all the great citizens who assisted deputies earlier today."
Police declined to identify the farmer whose cows had escaped.
"Never in my life," Kuczmanski added. "Only in Indiana."