BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The westbound lanes of the Beachline Expressway in Brevard County were closed because of cattle on the roadway, but drivers waiting in the backed-up traffic turned around and started going the wrong direction.
Brevard deputies closed the roadway between Interstate 95 and State Road 407, but it has since reopened.
Skywitness 9 HD was overhead as drivers were going the wrong way, nearly hitting vehicles as they were heading away from the scene.
Troopers and deputies said they hurried to get around the traffic jam and block off the road at the nearest exit, but weren't able to catch the reckless drivers.
"I, in 18 years on patrol, have never seen such reckless behavior committed by a driver intentionally," said Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Chuck Mack owns the cattle and believes they escaped through two holes in his ranch's fence. He said the holes were made by people who illegally drive ATVs on his property.
"It's a big pain, but the liability issue is the worst of it because you've got cars coming down the Beachline and it's a crowded road," said Mack.
It took about 10 minutes for deputies and troopers to put a stop to drivers heading the wrong direction.
It doesn't appear that any vehicles crashed as a result of the wrong-way drivers.
Troopers showed up a short time later and helped shut the roadway down, forcing wrong-way drivers to turn around and head in the right direction.
Remarkably, there were no accidents.
"I mean come
on, it's a cow. The police officer will turn you around sooner or later," said driver Lillian Mariani.
It took nearly 90 minutes to round up the cattle.
Troopers said it is unlikely they will be able to catch any of the drivers who headed in the wrong direction because it would be hard to prove who was behind the wheel.