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Update: Man killed in cow crash identified

June 28th, 2014 8:21 am by Max Hrenda

Update: Man killed in cow crash identified

Johnson City police have released the name of a Kingsport man who was killed after his car collided with a cow that was walking along Interstate 26 on Friday night.

James L. Sparks, 49, 648 Newland Ave., died after his car struck the cow almost one-fifth mile east of mile-marker 12 on Interstate 26 in Gray.

According to JCPD Lt. Larry Williams, Sparks was driving eastbound on I-26 around 10:45 p.m. Friday when he collided with the cow, which was also killed in the crash.

Sparks was transported to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment, but later died as a result of his injuries.

Police believe the cow may have wandered through an opening in a fence on private property that is adjacent to I-26.

“There was a hole in the fence, apparently,” Williams said.

As it turned out, Sparks would not be the only driver to come into contact with a cow. Williams said that around 12:40 Saturday morning, while he and other emergency personnel were investigating Sparks’ accident, another driver hit another cow at mile-marker 12.

“The other guy wasn’t injured; it just tore his car up a little bit,” Williams said. “Luckily the guy saw our emergency lights, so he slowed down. It could have been worse for him if he hadn’t.”

The second cow, Williams said, like the second driver, also suffered no significant injuries.

Both incidents, Williams said, occurred at a location on I-26 where stray animals have, in the past, been hazardous for passing motorists. He added, however, that he could not attribute those other incidents with the cows’ owner from the weekend’s incidents.

“We have had animals get loose out in that same area,” Williams said. “But I don’t know if it’s the same person.”

As the JCPD continues its investigation into the incident, Williams said he was unaware if the cows’ owner would face any criminal charges, but added that the investigation was ongoing.

“That’s something we’ll be looking into,” he said. “As always, charges are pending on completion of our investigation.”

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Reported earlier:

A man died after his vehicle struck a cow in the road on Interstate 26 late Friday night in Gray, Johnson City police reported in a news release.

The driver's name was not released pending notification of next of kin.

The crash in the eastbound lane near mile marker 12 was reported at 10:51 p.m.

Police said the man was taken to Johnson City Medical Center, but despite efforts to save him, he died.

The Johnson City Police Department's Traffic Homicide Team was investigating. Police said more information would be released when possible.

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