(2018-09-11) WIllow Bridge Round Up
A few cattle escaped during an incident involving two vehicles on Willow Bridge

Clear skies with cool in the air, its a perfect late summer day heralding the advent of summer. Near where the bridge ends on the east side of the Saminaw things have decidedly turned. In an instant.

Two vehicles, one a semi with a cattle car on the tail, the other an old ford that is in a state of repair. Good repair, nice rounded curved, body fixed, primered in a gray and sanded out, a blower sticking up the top. Some hot rod like project. Or it was. The cattle car seems to have lost control on the bridge, curving a little, and skidding to a stop to take both lanes on the bridge, the cattle car tipping precariously. This forced the ford truck to skid and swerve, it was west bound getting ready to go onto the bridge. In this moment as the cattle car stops, the truck finishes its skid hitting the guard rail which stops it from going into the river.

In this moment a little smoke rises out of the engine block of the ford pick-up and the horn wails a moment then stops. The semi cab opens and a rounded belly of a man with a thick brown beard and a John Deere cap over his head is climbing out. Blinking for the moment.

Nevaeh is new to Calaveras, and she woke up this morning with an itch to walk around and see what trouble she could find. She strolls idly down roads, and spotting the bridge decided to see if she could get a view of the water. She's on her way when the vehicles pass and she slows down, watching the wreck with a look of horror on her face. Well shit. She picks up the pace as the man crawls out of the cab of the truck, waving in his direction. "Hey, hey you! Are you okay? That was.." She trails off, not really knowing the proper, polite word to use. Honestly, she was about to say that it was awesome. Too many video games. Glancing at the other vehicle she frowns and glances back at the man from the ford. "Should we check on these people, none of this looks safe. Should we call the cops? I have no idea what to do in this case. I'm not *from* here!"

Maybe its the weird thing about devestating forces, they can indeed be awesome. Awe inspiring, jaw dropping, awesome. The John Deere man looks to Nevaeh as a bystandar that speaks up. He sort of stumbles a little, maybe grit in the road. Then to the man in the ford, "I'm okay." Loud enough for several to hear.

Speaking of, some are turning to walk away, gawking a little but backing away. As if not wanting a part of it, other gawkers are doing just that; gawking. A phone or two are out, but not to call cops, rather to get some images of this.

Joseph, the ford pick up driver, gets out slowly. A streak of red trickling at the side of his head where it hit something inside his smaller cab on impact with the rail. "You ass," he says, turning to try and spot the semi driver. "That cost me work!"

"Hey buddy, it was an accident," says the semi driver with a slight slur, looking to see if Nevaeh backs him up on this. And to help the matter, the clod of cattle in the trailer can be heard, seems the back opened and some are realizing they can move out and onto the bridge now too. The semi driver hasn't turned back to look at the stock cattle, but his gaze is between Joseph and Nevaeh it seems.

Nevaeh frowns as Joseph climbs out of the truck, immediately spotting the blood on the side of his head. "Hey, pal." She speaks up, walking in his direction. "You guys have 911 here, right?" She glances back at the semi driver and frowns. "Seems to have been an accident, but we need to call the co.." She doesn't finish her sentence, her eyes turning to the cattle in the trailer. As they step out and move onto the bridge, her eyebrows quirk up to her bangs. "Well..uh.. I guess this is an impromptu rodeo now?"

She pulls her phone out and takes a picture, nobody will believe this, and then turns back to the pair of drivers. "Alright alright, I'm calling the cops, they can get to the bottom of things. Yeah?" She brushes her pink hair away from her face and starts to dial 911. Hopefully it works. Who knows when you're out in the boonies. "Yo!" She calls out to the gawkers. "Any of you photogs got a towel or something, this guy is bleeding." She points helpfully to Joseph. Maybe someone else will try to help.

That gets some reactions at least. Joseph looks up and nods, her call stops him from his gut reaction which was to confront the other driver. A voice of reason broke that cloud in him. "Yeah, we have 911," he says it nearly in protest, or audacious like why wouldn't Calaveras have 911. Then again, he may not be thinking straight at the moment.

The semi driver, on the other hand, shakes his head. "Just exchange information, I don't need this on my record." Like its a ticketable offense. Then again, that little slur ot his words may indicate a potential cause. And the cows are getting out, "Wait, wait on 911, let me get them rounded up before the police get here." He turns to move towards them, lifting both hands, saying things like "Back, Back, on the truck." He is not a cow herder by any means, the arms spread out doesn't work to cattle the cattle back on.

A gawker turns to Nevaeh, "Yeah, I have a towel." Luckily probably, a morning jogger, with a fanny pack and a towel. He unzips the pack and tosses a towel towards Joseph. It ceremoniously lands on the ground. Joseph bends to pick it up, alittle wobble from injury only hopefully, and says, "Call the cops. He's only worried cause protocol is to shoot stray cattle in city limits."

Nevaeh smirks at Joseph, catching the tone of his voice. "Listen pal, I'm used to the city, this.." She waves her slender arms to encompass the comical cow situation and the man trying to wave them into a nearly tipped trailer. "..is new to me." She dials on her phone, and turns to glance at the gawker who steps forward and tosses the towel on the ground. Nice. There is a roll of her blue eyes as she starts to speak quietly to whomever picks up the phone. "Yeah. Uh..I'm calling to report an accident, it's blocking a ..bridge. Uh.." She holds her hand over the phone as she hisses at Joseph. "What bridge is this?"

The man with the cattle spots her on the phone and seems to get a little more dialed up about her doing the opposite of what he said. She can't see him, her back is to him, so if he starts to kick up a fuss, she won't notice right away. "Two vehicles." She reports, squinting back toward the bridge. "There are cows on the bridge now, and this one guy is bleeding. The other just ..well I don't know. I'd just send someone out here because a crowd is gathering and nobody is going to be able to get across here. Yeah."

Dabbing the towl to his head, Joseph gives pause to consider. Moving to sit on a back fender alonside his trucks bed. Cows in the street, that probably is pretty crazy to someone who hasn't been near ranches or meat packing plants and such. He lightens his demeanor at least and nods, "Yeah, it ain't every day." Blood off foreheahd, he's using the towel to apply pressure now to his minor injury. "Willow Bridge," he is glad to supply to Nevaeh as she gives details.

What she doesn't see is the man turning back around and wobbling a little, "No, wait." Which isn't much said at all, the guy pauses. "Just a moment," he thinks then looks at the other end of the bridge. "Nah, can't be here for this," he says, and turns to just leave the situation.

"The other is just leaving the scene," informs Joe to Nevaeh on the phone. Then he yells out, "Look bud, best to just sit here, see how it goes, save some trouble." To which the semi driver only responds by lifting a hand and waving, "Nah, not another DUI." Its muttered, but is probably heard. Joseph isn't in a mood to try and stop him with his head and all.

"The cow guy is taking off." Nevaeh relays, and then in a quieter voice she adds. "I mean, it's not like he can't be traced by his truck. Now you all will just add leaving the scene onto that mess. Yeah?" She folds her arms over her chest, head tilted and shoulder raised as she talks to the police. "Okay. Yeah. Willow Bridge." Her eyes shift to Joseph, and she frowns at something said on the other end. "Okay, thanks."

"Police will be here as soon as possible. I'm supposed to keep an eye on you to make sure you're not going to fall over or something." She walks a little closer to Joseph, peeking at his injury and frowning. "I mean, I don't know shit about any of this. It's way outside of my comfort zone. So uh.."

She holds out a slender hand, a wry smile on her lips. "Nevaeh Blackthorne. I just got into town yesterday." She gestures to the cows, the trucks, the spectators and smirks. "Is this a regular occurrence? Do people drive drunk around here often? I'm having second thoughts about walking to get to places."

The cops will be there, literally in minutes. Their station is only a few blocks north on Main St. Joseph doesn't seem to mind the cattle or the guy thinking he'll walk away scott free at the moment. Instead he is focused on sitting on that fender and stopping the blood flow. As she concludes the call and explains, he looks over to Nevaeh nodding slowly as if following along. "First day, heh," the chuckle more dry than seriously amused, "Welcome to Calaveras. Outdoor country in the middle of rancher country, we don't know what we want to be." As if to wave off the cows, they're moving down the bridge, in the direction of grass, probably as close to river as they can get. They have to get past the guard rail first, but they seem to be of a mind its time to eat.

"The cows on the looose, not so regular." A pause from the man he looks at the semi, bobbles his head with indifference, "Drunking driving, probably not to often but more often then we'd like to think. If it helps, I haven't been in an accident here and I've lived here most of my life." He pulls towel off a moment, looks to see what the blood flow is like, reapplies as is seems more than enough to warrant that. "Yeah, that's a good idea, I don't want to fail over into the river. Where you from Nevaeh Blackthrone?" He seems to use it to turn questions away from him.

Nevaeh looks uncomfortable, shifting on her feet at his question. "Here and there. Lived in Cali, Paris…a few other places." She rolls her eyes and shoves her phone in a pocket. "Well I was told that the town was kind of ..slow, compared to places I've been. Clean too." She watches the cows, looking extremely amused at how they plod toward the grass. "They're like big dogs." She comments, and realizes after a moment that there is a smile on her face, so she shakes herself and takes a few steps closer to Joseph. "Let me see the head thing." She orders, waiting for him to pull the towel away. "Sorry about your truck, it looked like it was a nice truck. You know?" If he'll reveal his head wound to her, she might try to look closer. Not because she knows much about first aid, but she just wants to move the question and answers back to the accident, and the injured party.

"A little of all over sounds like<" about where she has been. Joseph turns as she does, following her look to the cows. "Yeah, mostly. Unless they get spooked, could trample someone or kick someone. Its why protocol is to put them down if they can't be coralled in city limits. It is pretty quiet otherwise. I try to spend more time out of the city when I can." He makes conversation and turns back to her with a nod, getting back on track, accident and all. "Yeah, take a look. See if we need a stick to push the brains back in." Dry faced, no laugh, but most likely humor attempted as Joseph pulls the towel away from his head and looks at the street to give her the best vantage. "I'll fix it, its what I do." He thumbs down the street, towards the not too distant intersection. "Joey's Parts, that's me, Joseph Morris." He finally gives a name, like he was evading it or something when she introduced herself.

"Yeah. I traveled a lot for work." Nevaeh responds, taking a look at the wound. "Well I think what they say about head wounds is right. They bleed a lot, but it really doesn't look all that bad." She wrinkles her nose, shaking her head back and forth. Her head turns when he thumbs down the street and she nods. "Nice, if I had a vehicle and it broke down, I'd bring it to you. I never learned to drive, never had anyone to teach me. So when I got here I bought a bike, but the seat hurts my ass." She is making bad small talk now, and then she sees the lights from the police cruiser, which makes her exhale out a relieved breath. "So what will happen to that other guy, will they chase him down like cops and drag him in the station?"

Nodding his head as he listens, Joseph is indeed coherent and it is more blood then bite on his scalp. "Yeah, I was almost good exchanging .. information." Or fists. "But this is good, someone'll have to clean it up." Not Joseph as far as he's concerned, clearly evident in his voice. "Sounds like my work, but mine was military, no time in Paris when I was younger." He doesn't move to put the towel back for the moment, it doesn't trickle down either, his hair can sponge a little more still. "A bike is good if you plan to stay in town. If you're really on a health kick, I suppose most places nearby too are within 10 or 20 miles. Just get a better seat. I'm sure someone in town drives a Lift or Uber." Whatever it is these days. Then sirens, and Joseph does smirk just a hint, as she exhales. "I imagine they'll send a car over to Ash on the other side, sweep until they find him. And if not, they have his plates here. He's too drunk to think this through."

As a car stops to get out and approach, Joseph does look up at her, "And thanks, you probably stopped this from turning into more trouble. If you do get a car, or want to learn, feel free to visit the shop."

Nevaeh shoots Joseph a look as he offers to give her driving lessons. "Want another cut on your head *that* badly?" She jokes, stepping back as people start to arrive. She is asked some questions and she answers politely, attempting to inch away from the scene and escape. One of the cows makes some noise and she pauses, trying to get the police officer's attention. "You're not going to shoot them are you?" She asks, pointing toward the cows. "They're being good, I mean, look, that one's tail is waggling." It's swatting at a bug, but she doesn't know that. She'd probably have made good on her escape if worry about the cows hadn't stopped her.

That gets a litttle more of an honest chuckle from Joseph, enough to count in some books. "Need a little balance." Or Symmetry. He would say more too, but ambulatory folks arrive next and both cops and medical personal come to question him too.

The cop she finds turns and looks. "Well, if they move easily back to the truck, they should be good. But if they don't comply, we'll have to use necessary means to get the bridge open again." Though, really, most traffic has turned around to head for the other in-town bridge to the north, not like its completely holding up traffic either. The cop does look to the tail, "Its because of flies, not that its happy." So said with the guff of someone that only sees walking burgers, not an animal. There is indifference in his voice it seems as he responds to her.

Nevaeh looks at Joseph, and she won't say so, she is polite-ish, but she's pretty sure that he hit his head harder than he might admit. She focuses her attention on the police officer and when he says they might have to shoot the cows, she frowns and flails her arms around briefly, scowling. "Okay, can I help you get the cows back into the truck then?" She thinks she might be a cow whisperer, or possibly a pink haired savant, dusting her hands off against her skirt. "I mean, if they get rowdy, you should do what you have to do. I just feel bad for them. They can't help that their driver was a drunken piece of shit."

As if to help support her politeness, she might overhear a complaint from Joseph. "Come on now Randy, I'm good to walk. I'll be fine." To which the ambulatory fellow, Randy, side comments something about observation and procedures. He'll probably get more help than he wants, that Joseph fellow.

A slight scrunch of lips and furrow of brow, the on duty officer consider. "Yeah, that's true." He nods, then looks at her, "Fair enough, help me corral them and no need to put them down here." He turns to his partner, who may still be questioning Joseph too, "Tom, I'm gonna try to move the cows back on the trailer, see how this goes." As if, be ready for cows to do something different. "Come no ma'am, lets see what we can do." Given with all the muster of resignation. He walks for where they are grazing, seeing if she follows.

Nevaeh follows the officer, pointing to the trailer as they walk. "So tell me, pal, how well do cows take a slap to the ass?" She jokes, propping her hands on her hips as she eyes the large animals. "So like, I'm not some sort of cow lover, or animal activist. If they start to look tramply, feel free to do what you gotta do. Yeah?" She watches the cop, waiting to see what he's going to do, ready to copy his movements. "How are you going to get those vehicles off the bridge, maybe they can tow that big thing on the other side so we just have to convince them to walk up the hill?" She takes a breath, a look of determination showing on her face. "You can do this Vae. It's just a huge dog, with spots."

Lifting a hand to itch his temple, the cop considers. "Depends, most will just keep eating. You get the right one, they'll kick I imagine." He took the joke seriously it seems, then realizes she was joking, and turns a little red for some unknown reason. A chuckle, but he shakes his head. "Yeah, maybe, they'll need a heavy tow truck to move the semi. Even if its drivable, we'll have to impound. If they guy stayed, he could call in on his contract to have another trailer and driver brought over to move the cows. We'll figure that out, when we get there." Either that or animal control to deal with what remains of the .. remains? "You can slap them, just don't stand right next to the flank, they can kick a little sideways." He moves to a cow, "Come on, move." He says, slapping sort of near the flank. If only they had leads, could be easier.

Nevaeh looks a bit worried at the talk of kicking, but she gamely moves toward one of the smaller cows, mimicking the slap that the cop had applied to the other cow. It shifts, makes a mooing noise and starts to walk back to where it came from. It's slow and plodding and the animal gets distracted at least once or twice, but Nevaeh is having some luck. She turns to look behind her and the cow turns its head, bumping against her, and she laughs, scratching near it's ears. "Good doggy." She mutters, hoping that anyone around the scene didn't hear her words. Embarrassing. Talking to cows, she's managed to leap headfirst into the country.

That could earn a friend, ear scratching and grass/hay. The cop has his going pretty quickly too. He doesn't let it doddle though, no interest to be at the bridge longer than necessary. Despite that it means no homework for him either. At one point he turns to look back, "You're a natural, new line of work." Ranch hand he means. THough this seems to work with the cows, he's even getting his on the street and back towards the trailer. It might help that not every cow jumped ship, and getting them back to their herd is a natural reaction for cattle too, just maybe. It moves from plodding grass to clomping street. The cop pauses, letting her catch up, "Lead yours on if you can, maybe I can get the other stragglers to join in, all at once?" Instead of one at a time. He moves and starts whistling, which gets stragglers to turn up a little, from grazing grass they all found to see what's going on.

Nevaeh does what she's told, leading the cow toward the trailer, grinning from ear to ear. "I don't think I should be a rancher, but these cows are cute." She pats the cow as she leads it toward the trailer, speaking quietly to the animal when it slows down or tries to turn away from her lead. The cow walks back into the trailer, and she beams, standing back so the cop can herd the others where they're meant to go. Her eyebrows loft as he whistles and suddenly there are cows walking toward her, clomping heavily on the road. She stands to the side, watching as others move into the trailer. "That went a *lot* better than expected. I'm glad you didn't have to put any of them down." She tilts her head slightly to the side, frowning. "So if you need me, I'm staying at the hotel until I get my place set up, yeah?" She walks back down the road, pausing near Joseph. "You gonna be okay? Got a babysitter?" She asks, smiling briefly in his direction.

He does turn his head, that cop, with a raised brow. He might be in for some odd pets, like the pigs or even a goat or a sheep, but he's not so sure about cattle and cute. At least pet wise. He shakes his head at the thought and gets the others moving. More a swat to get one to follow, then onto the next. He nods when he catches up, "Way better, less paperwork. Thanks ma'am." He tips his hat to her and nods. "Yeah, glad none had to be put down here, sort of hits the morale a little when folks see how." He pauses, seeing the frown and not going into details on what happens next for these cows regardless. "Should be good, but we know where to find you." He moves to join his partner, they're calling in the tow truck to get it all settled on that end.

Joseph is at the amulance, with an IV even. Its an extra measure that is unneeded, most likely, but protocol for transportation to the hospital and all. He was looking at his hands, more sitting on the back bumper of the ambulance now, but then over his shoulder, "Yeah, I got two it seems. I'm okay now, they're insisting. If the cops weren't here, it'd be another story." As if he might not comply, fully. "Looks like you saved some cows. A lot of nothing for your first day. Good news is, probalby won't be stray cows in town for a good few years again. Luck of your draw it seems."

Nevaeh nods, taking a deep breath before she shrugs, moving back the way she was walking. "I'll leave you to your hospital visit. It was nice to meet you." She calls out, laughing softly as she walks away from the ambulance. "I might take you up on those lessons one day. Or something!" She salutes the cops, an impish look on her face as she pulls her phone from her pocket. She dials and speaks quietly into the phone. "You'll never guess what I just did.." Her voice trails off as she gets further away, giggles heard before she turns back towards downtown.

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