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Bull launches sergeant into the air

Jan. 9, 2013 at 2:47 PM

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Florida sheriff's sergeant directing traffic after a highway crash was flipped into the air by a bull that fell from a wrecked trailer.

Alachua County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Richard LaLonde said Monday he saw the trailer carrying 32 bulls blow a tire about noon Saturday and crash through a fence and some trees, the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun reported Wednesday.

LaLonde said he started directing traffic around a bull that had fallen from the truck and was signaling another approaching deputy to cut his siren to avoid agitating the animal when he heard someone shouting at him from a distance.

"You know when someone's yelling your name, and you know it's not good?" LaLonde said.

The sergeant said he had only seconds to react when he turned and saw the bull charging at him.

"All I could do was protect my vitals for the hit," he said.

LaLonde said the bull sent him flying.

"When you're in the air during a critical incident," LaLonde said, "you're looking at dying, and time slows down."

However, he said he was not seriously injured and was able to join efforts to corral the bull once he landed.

Authorities said the bull had to be shot and killed. A few other bovine escaped the trailer, but were recaptured.

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