Four horses died in a bizarre crash on U.S. 550 Thursday, Sept. 23; three, when a pickup struck them and the fourth, when the ambulance dispatched for the driver collided with it about a mile from the crash site.
Thursday morning, a man driving a GMC pickup truck was westbound on the highway at about mile post 99 in Ouray County when he came upon three horses that had strayed into the road. He could not avoid striking them, according to preliminary information from the Colorado State Patrol, and one of the animals landed in the bed of the truck after it was hit.
All three horses were killed, CSP Trooper Henry Netherton said.
The driver complained of dizziness and an ambulance was summoned to take him to the hospital.
At about mile post 100, though, the ambulance struck another horse that was in the roadway, killing it. A second ambulance had to be dispatched to take the truck’s driver the rest of the way to the hospital.
The GMC sustained heavy front end damage and damage to its bed. The ambulance had damage to the driver’s side headlight and mirror.
As of Thursday morning, only one of the horses’ owners had been identified; Netherton said the Ouray County Sheriff’s Office was trying to identify who might own the other horses that died.
Netherton said the CSP is not contemplating citations for anyone, including the GMC’s driver, whom the trooper did not identify.
Colorado is a free range state and livestock owners have no legal obligation to fence in their animals, he said. This does not mean the horses’ owners hadn’t done so. The Daily Press could not immediately confirm how the horses might have come to be on the road.
Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.