SHELBY, Ohio -- A teacher at a vocational school in Richland County is hospitalized for injuries he suffered when he was attacked by a steer during a classroom exercise.
It was in a meat processing class at Pioneer Career and Technology Center in Shelby, where students real world experience from the slaughterhouse to the butcher board.
The school says veteran instructor Bill Kucic was leading a 1,200 pound steer from a holding pen into a stall to be put down last Thursday morning, when the animal suddenly turned on Kucic in a narrow chute, picked him up and flipped him into the air.
Pioneer superintendent Glenna Cannon told Fox 8, "When he flipped, he hit his head. He had a few broken bones and some lacerations to his neck."
The steer might have continued the attack, but acting on what they learned in the class, one student was able to quickly close a gate to the chute to keep the steer from getting to the injured teacher, and another called 9-1-1.
"Cows are pretty big and heavy, and they can do a lot of damage to you," said 19-year-old senior, Travis Beamer. “I'm glad he didn't get hurt any more than he did."
Investigators believe that the steer may have spooked by being in the chute or by nearby students talking.
Bill Kucic was flown by helicopter to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where he is in fair condition. As a result of what happened, administrators at Pioneer are considering changes in the way livestock is brought into the slaughter room at the school.
"There are some different types of stalls you can get, and we're looking at if there a better way to bring that steer in so they're not so frightened," said Cannon.
Students said Bill Kucic is known for his classroom humor, but his standard joke may not be so funny anymore.
"After he gets done killing, [he says] 'Guess who won that one, me or the cow?,’ and usually, I'll be like, 'Yeah, you won that one.' "
As for the steer, the attack on the instructor only delayed the inevitable, and he was put down the next day.