Friday, January 18, 2008
Man Hits Buffalo With Car
A motorist hit a buffalo that had escaped from a ranch and wandered onto a highway in southwestern Minnesota Wednesday night, the State Patrol said.
Eric Jipson, 23, of Hardwick, Minn. was northbound on Hwy. 75 when he collided with the bison that was running across the road a few miles north of Luverne, the State Patrol said.
It's not uncommon to see buffalo in Rock County since they often roam the grounds of Blue Mounds State Park and a nearby ranch, but locals can't recall one ever being hit by a car.
"I've lived here a long time and to my knowledge, it's never happened," said Lynn Lopau of the University of Minnesota Extension Service in Rock County. "I'm sure it certainly was a surprise for whoever hit it."
It was just as surprising for law enforcement who got the call about the collision around 8:20 p.m.
"It's an oddity for sure," said Les Muck, of the State Patrol. " I've been here 27 years and I don't remember another one."
The buffalo apparently escaped from the Prairie Heights Bison ranch in Luverne.
"Somebody left a gate open and that's how we believe it got out," said Muck.
Jipson was not hurt in the accident, but the front of his 1989 Buick LeSabre was "badly mangled," said a person who answered the phone at G&S , where the car was taken after the collision.
It is not clear what happened to the buffalo. Calls to the ranch seeking comments were not immediately returned. Efforts to contact Jipson were unsuccessful.
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