Driving down Franklin road in Nampa one night, Tamara Haylett had no time to react before hitting a black cow in the middle of the road.
For Haylett and her husband the ordeal was just beginning. The couple contacted On Your Side, looking for answers.
Haylett talked about that November night. She says when she felt the impact, she asked herself, “Did I just hit a cow?”
A Canyon County deputy arrived on the scene immediately, prompting Haylett to ask him, "Did I just hit a cow? He told me, ‘Yeah, you did. Someone else just hit one just a little bit ago, so we were out looking for them."
Haylett was banged up and her car totaled. She was surprised to hear what would happened next. She and her husband, Rod, felt the owner of the cows was responsible for damages. The owner's insurance company didn't agree.
The Canyon County prosecutor's office said there wasn't sufficient evidence to go forward with their case.
Since Canyon County is not considered open range, state senator Jim Rice said, "If you're inside city limits or a herd district like Canyon County, which is a herd district, if the animal is out on the road, as a general rule, the owner of the livestock is liable for the injury to the cars and people."
However, the driver must prove the owner "allowed" the cows to get out. According to Canyon County prosecuting attorney Bryan Taylor, with no proof of "criminal intent", his office can't do a thing.
Now, the Haylett's must decide whether to take the cow's owner to small claims court. Something they're considering.