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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.


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,


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.


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



“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.”