accessibility & help

British Red Cross helps to get traffic mooo-ving after back-flipping bullock blocks the road

27 June 2012

For immediate release  Wednesday 27 June, 2012
For further information  Samantha Whitwham
Contact number  0117 3012624 or 07525 128 297
A team of British Red Cross fire and emergency support service (FESS) volunteers were first on the scene of an unusual road traffic incident last week involving a cattle trailer.

The FESS volunteers were travelling along the A358 towards Ilminster, Somerset, on Saturday 16 June when the driver of a Land Rover Defender towing a cattle trailer travelling in the opposite direction lost control. Both the vehicle and trailer flipped and rolled several times along the road into the path of the Red Cross FESS vehicle.

Fully trained to respond calmly to emergency scenarios, the volunteers slowed the traffic behind them, allowing time and space for the vehicle to come to a stop without further collisions. However, Red Cross training had not prepared the team for the sight of a young bullock being catapulted out through the roof of the trailer.

Bob Weston, one of the FESS volunteers said: “Amazingly the animal landed on its feet. It seemed a bit dazed, but was otherwise fine. We therefore awarded it 7.5 for technical merit and ability.”

Thankfully, the driver of the Land Rover had also escaped unhurt and was able to climb free from the damaged vehicle. While Bob and his colleague, Malcolm Cook, helped the driver assess the rest of the stock, Red Cross volunteer, Roger Wilcox contacted the emergency services.

Traffic had come to a standstill in both directions and the volunteers were able to warn drivers of the delay, giving local knowledge to divert around the incident and make space for the arrival the emergency response vehicles.

Malcolm Cook, FESS manager at the Red Cross, said: “It was a very unusual incident and both the driver and cattle were lucky to escape injury. The volunteers all responded in a very calm and professional manner, but it’s certainly an incident that we won’t forget.”

FESS volunteers regularly work in partnership with the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service to provide emotional and practical support to those affected by house fires and other emergencies. 

Using a customised vehicle, volunteers can offer immediate temporary shelter, provide first aid, clothes, food, toiletries and help find temporary accommodation and signpost people to other support organisations that can help.

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For more information on the British Red Cross please visit:

Notes to editors

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

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