AUBURN — You know what’s stranger than a guy crashing into a Black Angus cow on Pownal Road at 4 in the morning?

Two guys crashing into a Black Angus cow on Pownal Road at 4 in the morning.

It happened early Wednesday. Two drivers, two cows, two separate collisions.

John Barbioni of Lewiston was the first to crash. He was driving his Dodge Stratus north on Pownal Road on his way to work at about 4:15 a.m. when a cow appeared in front of him.

“It was foggy. They had just paved that section of road,” Barbioni said on Thursday. “The road is jet black and the cow was jet black. I hit my brakes but by that time, it was too late. Boom.”

Boom, indeed.

“I hit the cow in the rear quarter,” Barbioni said. “It rolled up over my hood and into my windshield. It shattered the windshield and took off my driver’s side mirror.”

Barbioni, 58, was not seriously hurt. He was just beginning to adjust to the strangeness of the crash when things got stranger still.

“I was down there in the road checking out the cow,” he said. “It was unconscious in the middle of the road. I had my phone out with my light on it. I saw another truck coming so I got my flashlight out so he wouldn’t hit the cow, too. Then I heard a crash.”

Yes, that actually happened. Seconds after Barbioni slammed into roughly two tons of beef, another driver did the very same thing 200 yards away.

“I was on the line with 911 at the time,” Barbioni said. “I said, ‘I think someone else has hit a cow, too.’ They asked me if the guy was all right. I said, ‘He must be all right because he’s cussing and swearing pretty good.'”

The second driver was Erik F. Stone, 35, of Durham. According to a police report, Stone was headed north when his GMC pickup truck plowed into a Black Angus cow. The police report notes that it was foggy at the time.

Stone was not hurt, but his truck — not to mention the cow — did not fare so well.

“He hit it broadside,” Barbioni said. “Totaled the whole front of his truck.”

Both vehicles were towed from the scene. Both cows had to be put down and, no, neither man got to keep the animals for their meat.

“I could have filled my freezer for the winter,” Barbioni said.

According to police reports, the cows are owned by Aaron Thompson of Portland. The cows had apparently wandered away from a farm at 990 Pownal Road.

Barbioni, who drives a truck for a freight company, was still working on getting money together Thursday to get his car back. He was also fielding a lot of jokes from friends – “Holy cow,” they cracked, and “Where’s the beef?”

“I’ve heard these jokes all day,” Barbioni said. “I answer my phone by saying ‘Moo’ now.”

John Barbioni’s Dodge Stratus following a collision with a cow Wednesday morning on Pownal Road in Auburn.

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