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Horse killed on Ventura Freeway

Ben Godar

Traffic backed up on the Ventura (134) Freeway from Burbank to

Pasadena during rush hour Monday morning after a car struck a horse,

killing the animal but not injuring the driver.

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The collision occurred shortly before 8 a.m., just west of Forest

Lawn Drive in Burbank. A horse on a nearby trail was spooked by a

coyote, bucked its rider and squeezed through a gap in the freeway

perimeter fence near a drainage pipe before running onto the freeway,

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said Officer Vince Bell of the California Highway Patrol. The horse

was struck by a 1983 Toyota Tercel driven by a 42-year-old Glendale

man, he said.

Three lanes of traffic were closed when the accident occurred, but

one was soon reopened. Los Angeles animal control officers and a CHP

lieutenant with veterinary experience tried to save the horse, but it

died at the scene. Caltrans officials used a special crane to remove

the horse’s body from the freeway.

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The car suffered moderate damage, and Bell said the driver was

very fortunate not to be injured.

“Any time you’re in a car and you strike a large animal like that,

it’s a potentially fatal accident,” he said.

Larry Gimple, director of events for the Los Angeles Equestrian

Center, said the horse was boarded at the facility. While the

incident occurred on a trail outside of center, he said it was the

first time a horse from the center has run into traffic on the

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freeway.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had an incident with a car,” he

said. “We’re just glad no one else was hurt.”

Bell also said it was the first time he could recall a car

striking a horse.

“This is a very rare occurrence,” he said. “Animals get struck

every day, but usually it’s dogs and cats.”


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