47-year-old Lynn Ann Michel of Colorado decided to get drunk and get behind the wheel of her Isuzu SUV. While careening down a country road, she managed to ram an astonishing number of victims: 38 sheep were killed immediately, with the death toll rising to 42 as the Colorado State Patrol surveyed the carnage.
Investigators didn’t see any skid marks at the scene, which would indicate that Michel never even tried to apply the brakes. "I think what we are really trying to figure out is how the car managed to continue on after hitting that many sheep," an investigator said. Although Michel tried to make a getaway, she didn't spend much time on the lamb: Colorado State Troopers found the front license plate of her SUV at the scene of the crime.
Drunk driving is a baaaaaad idea
Drivers who consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel are dulling their reflexes, making it difficult to react to unexpected conditions on the road. A drunk driver may not be able to respond quickly enough to avoid a stopped car in front of them, a curve in the road ahead, or more than 40 sheep.
Alcohol can also impair drivers’ judgement, leading to some mutton-headed decisions. Drunk drivers are more likely to speed, and more likely to decide that it’s a good idea to leave the scene of a crash in which they’ve just killed more than 40 sheep.
Don’t be sheepish about contacting an attorney
Drunk drivers are liable for the damages they cause in an accident, whether or not that damage happens to a human. Although the families of the dead sheep can’t sue for damages, their owner may be able to recover their value by filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver.
Unfortunately, under Colorado’s rules for its Crime Victim Compensation Fund, farmers may not be eligible for damages to their livestock. The fund’s website mentions property damage to lockers, windows and doors, but doesn't mention farmers who've been fleeced by criminals.