Consider it a moo-ving violation.
Prosecutors say a La Honda man driving on La Honda Road early Tuesday morning was intoxicated when he slammed into a cow, wrecking his vehicle and leading to his arrest.
David Hennigh 54, told authorities he was driving eastbound on State Route 84 shortly after midnight April 20 when he claimed, "all of a sudden the cow popped up,” said Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti.
Officers responding to calls of the crash reported finding Hennigh inside a totaled car, alongside some hashish and marijuana. His blood alcohol content was .11, Guidotti said.
Guidotti wouldn’t speculate on whether Hennigh’s alleged alcohol intake contributed to the cow appearing from nowhere but it definitely led to his arrest on misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated, possession of hashish and possession of marijuana.
Hennigh has no priors, Guidotti said.
He appeared in court Thursday afternoon to plead not guilty to all charges and ask for a court-appointed attorney. He had been in custody since arrest but released on his own recognizance.
He returns to court May 27 for a pretrial conference and June 21 for a jury trial.
Prosecutors did not charge Hennigh with property damage for injury to the cow because he didn’t try leaving the scene and there is no sign he intentionally struck the animal.
Hennigh wasn’t injured in the collision but the fate of the cow is a little less clear. Guidotti said her office was not notified if the incident was fatal.
The California Highway Patrol did not return a call for more details.
Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.