CHESTERFIELD: Man attacked by buffalo

Jon Maccoll who works for Riber Security in Chesterfield who was in a road collision with a buffalo while working
Jon Maccoll who works for Riber Security in Chesterfield who was in a road collision with a buffalo while working

“Most people don’t believe me when I tell them what happened,” said Jon Maccoll who was attacked by an escaped buffalo near Chesterfield.

But Mr Maccoll, 44, of Danesmoor, faced the dramatic sight early in the morning as he drove across Stanage.

The security manager slammed on his brakes as five buffalo charged in to the road after escaping from a specialist meat farm - but one of the animals ran towards him and locked its horns in his car.

“You don’t expected to be going down a hill and five buffalo to run out, unless you’re in the Wild West maybe,” he said.

He added: “The road has a 60 mph speed limit and I was probably doing 55 mph. I put my brakes on as quickly as possible but one was trailing at the back and put its head down and charged at the car.”

Mr Maccoll swerved to try and avoid the animal but the buffalo’s caught its horn in the car’s headlight and ripped it out, seriously injuring the animal.

Mr Maccoll’s Fiesta was damaged in the collision and his finger and knee hit the dashboard. He also torn a tendon in his neck.

But he said his injuries, which saw him take a week off work and have physiotherapy, were nothing compare to the psychological impact.

He added: “Coming to terms with what happened was difficult. With it being an animal it really upset me. If I’d run a rabbit over I’d feel guilty for weeks but this really, really upset me.”

“The buffalo was screaming and there wasn’t anything I could do to help it. The road was an absolute river of blood.”

The harrowing experience led to the badly injured animal being shot by police.

Mr Maccoll said: “After it happened I lay in bed for the first two or three days and was in shock.

“I wouldn’t go near the road and was very emotional and upset. A week or two after I realised I was not right.

“I kept reliving the event and had flashbacks and nightmares. I was seeing animals in my sleep without any skin on.”

Mr Maccoll eventually went to see a psychologist who diagnosed him with post traumatic stress disorder and only now - over a year on from the accident, which happened in September 2011 - is he getting better.

He made a claim against the beast’s owner, under the Animals Act 1971, and thanks to Chesterfield solicitors Graysons WE, has now secured a settlement.

But the buffalo’s owner Richard Gill, of Nether Rod Knowle Farm in Eastmoor said the animals are not dangerous and they had escaped after an articulated lorry knocked down the gate.

He added: “I’m sorry for the driver and I’m sorry for the buffalo, too. The problem is people don’t take responsibility when they are in the countryside and leave gates open or knock them down without reporting it.”