MANSON — Charles Everson isn’t sure which is more astonishing: a cow falling off a 200-foot-high cliff onto his Buick minivan, or the media attention the incident has brought to him and his wife, Linda.
“It was a strange thing. There’s no doubt about it,” he said Wednesday in a phone interview. “But all this attention is even more bizarre. I’m just really glad we weren’t hurt. We could have been killed.”
The couple, from Westland, Mich., near Detroit, are staying in Manson this week in celebration of their one-year wedding anniversary.
Everson said he’s had calls from newspapers, radio stations and television reporters from all over the country since the Sunday afternoon accident.
“Good Morning America” and the “Today Show” tried to get the couple on their morning TV shows.
Seattle’s KING 5 and Spokane’s KREM 2 TV stations sent reporters for a video report that was picked up by other television stations.
The Associated Press and United Press International picked up the story that was printed in The Wenatchee World newspaper on Monday and sent it across the world.
It’s listed on the Drudge Report, the blog written by Matt Drudge, the sensationalist reporter who broke the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal.
A Web search of the words “Chelan cow fall” shows dozens of news briefs published Tuesday in newspapers and online media throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.
Everson, a 49-year-old chauffeur, said he hasn’t minded talking to local newspapers, but has no real desire to collect his 20 seconds of fame on national television.
“I don’t need that. We’re here on vacation,” he said. Everson said his favorite article was in his local Detroit Free Press, headlined, “Look! It’s a bird! It’s plane! It’s … a cow?!”
The couple were driving back to their Manson hotel on Highway 150 on Sunday after attending a church service in Chelan when the 600-pound heifer named Michelle dropped from above, landed on the hood of their Buick Terraza and bounced off onto the road. Everson said he was stunned and kept on driving, repeating to himself, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it.”
He finally pulled over about a mile up the road. Chelan County Fire District 5 volunteers detoured traffic while the 1-year-old cow was euthanized and removed from the road.
The Eversons were taken to Lake Chelan Community Hospital for a checkup but were not injured. It was later discovered that the cow had fallen off a 200-foot cliff above the highway at Rocky Point.
The cow was of rodeo stock and had been in Chelan for breeding purposes since August, owner Rena Albertson of Spokane told KING-5. The cow had escaped from the breeding facility and the breeder had been trying to contain her using a four-wheel ATV when Michelle slipped over the cliff, she said.
“She is very missed and I have yet to figure out how to tell our children what happened to her,” Albertson told a TV reporter Tuesday.