Horse saved in parkway collision

by By Mark Hoskins

“I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Those were the words many spoke at the scene of a three-vehicle accident Thursday morning near the 15-mile marker on the Hal Rogers Parkway.

Why was this wreck out of the normal? Because an 800lb horse was lying partially on the hood of a truck, and it was alive.

“I’ve been affiliated with law enforcement for nearly 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Sheriff Patrick Robinson.

His thoughts were echoed by many.

“I’ve been doing fire and rescue since I was a teenager, nearly 40 years, and this is a first for me,” said Lockard’s Creek Fire Chief Charles “Dobber” Weaver.

According to investigating officer Chief Deputy Clifton Jones, the wreck occurred near a work zone.

“Traffic had stopped, and a collision occurred, causing a chain reaction with three vehicles,” he said.

Two vehicles with Virginia-registered plates were involved. One truck pulled a horse trailer, and the other pulled a sizeable dual-axle trailer.

Witnesses say the third truck, pulling the trailer, collided with the horse trailer and pushed that truck into the rear of the car. Upon impact, the horse partially lodged, resting its rear legs on the truck's hood.

In most instances, the accident would have been a certain death for the horse, but somehow, the horse escaped serious injury with the help of local veterinarian Dr. Joey Massey.

Massey was on the parkway when the accident occurred and came to render aid.

“I didn’t see any visible major injuries,” he said. “The horse was scared and trapped.”

Dr. Massey administered several sedatives to calm the horse before extrication began.

“To ensure the animal's safety and those attempting to free it, I administered a sedative with the horse owner’s permission,” he said.

Rescue workers utilized the wrecker services of Allen’s Towing and Warren’s Towing to untangle the GMC truck from the horse trailer.

Manchester Fire Chief Jason Nolan laid on top of one of the vehicles, holding sharp metal away from the horse as the wreckers pulled the truck and trailer apart.

Rescue squad members treated the scene with the same care they would if it had been a human being trapped.

As the horse became free, it attempted to go through a side door of the trailer. Once outside, Dr. Massey examined the horse.

“It had some lacerations, but I didn’t see anything life-threatening,” he said. “We will transport it to the clinic and check it out further.”

Paramedics treated the drivers of both vehicles at the scene.

The horse was led to a grassy area away from the wreck, where several rescue workers came to check on it and rub its head.

“We treated this situation as saving a life,” Manchester Fire Chief Jason Nolan said after checking on the horse. “It didn’t matter whether it was a human or a horse. A life is a life, and we will do everything we can to save it.”