Monday, January 31, 2011

Auction accident takes life of rancher

Longtime Lane County cattle rancher Mervin McCarl died Sunday night after an accident the day before at the Eugene Livestock Auction when three cows got loose in the event’s parking lot and one of them picked up McCarl and tossed him in the air. The rancher, who was in his 70s and well-known in the local agricultural community, landed head-first on the pavement, event organizers said. “It’s a horrible, horrible accident,” auction owner Bruce Anderson said Sunday. “We’re all dealing with the shock of it. I’ve known Merv for 16 years. He was a valued customer. It’s a tragic, tragic situation.” There have been past incidents at the 56-year-old livestock auction, Anderson said, but none fatal. Anderson said he didn’t witness the accident and is still piecing together the facts, but employees told him that about 1:30 p.m. Saturday three cows got loose as they were being loaded into a truck. They’d just been sold at the weekly auction, which draws hundreds of buyers and sellers to the familiar landmark on Highway 99 south of Junction City...more

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