Smith Co. deputy attacked by injured cow - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smith Co. deputy attacked by injured cow

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – He rushed to help keep East Texans safe on a dangerous road. The East Texas Peace Officer is in a hospital with an injury he suffered during a freak accident on Thursday.

It happened around 3 on Thursday morning on Smith County FM 344 west of Bullard after an injured cow blocked a lane of traffic.

It's a road Bullard Police Chief Gary Lewis knows well, but as he drove it early Thursday morning, something he didn't know blocked his path.

"[I] saw this animal laying in the road on the eastbound traffic side of FM 344," says Lewis.

The animal blocking traffic was an injured cow. Lewis says the cow was already suffering after being struck by two vehicles.

Realizing the driving danger, Lewis called Smith County for back-up.

"They got there within five minutes… They were just right there on top of it," explained Lewis.

Lewis says as traffic increased, few noticed as the cow started to stand, until it was too late.

"He run right at us standing there, and I moved to the left and Mr. Britton backed straight up and the cow kind of hit him chest high," Lewis recalled.

The blow sent the veteran Peace Officer to the ground, striking his head on the pavement.

Just steps away, Lewis ran to the fallen officer.

"We got a blanket and put it under his head until they got there," said Lewis.

The cow's run ended with its collapse in a nearby ditch, where it was soon put down.

"Anytime you're dealing with the unknown of animals, it's a hazard," Lewis says.

An EMS rushed Britton to a hospital. Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith awoke to a phone call.

"We're very concerned anytime a deputy is injured, anyone is injured. It's almost like one of my children," explained the Sheriff.

Britton's family tells KLTV he is now surrounded by his children in a hospital, praying for their father's health, along with hundreds of East Texans.

"We can only watch and hope and pray that he'll be okay, we're very concerned about his health at this time," says Smith.

Hospital officials say Britton remains in critical condition, suffering from severe head injuries.

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