3 horses killed after being hit by truck on South Routt highway | SteamboatToday.com

3 horses killed after being hit by truck on South Routt highway

Scott Franz

Routt County Sheriff's Office

— Three horses that got loose from their home in Yampa were struck and mortally wounded by a truck Tuesday morning before sunrise on Colorado Highway 131.

The driver of the truck was not injured.

According to the Routt County Sheriff's Office, the owner of the horses had corralled them on the highway when they were struck before 7 a.m. just north of Yampa.

The horse owner himself was almost hit by the truck.

The driver told deputies it was dark on the highway, and he encountered a couple of trucks parked in the opposite lane.

The driver said he was blinded by one of the trucks, which was displaying bright headlights.

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He did not see any hazard lights.

The driver then hit the horses after he slowed the truck down to 45 or 50 miles per hour, according to a report from the Sheriff's Office.

The driver told deputies he couldn't avoid the collision and didn't have time to hit the brakes.

One horse was immediately killed by the impact of the truck, and the other two had to be put down because of the extent of their injuries.

The deceased geldings included 3-year-old Buddy, 8-year-old Partner and 18-year-old Cowboy.

A fourth horse that was also on the loose survived.

Undersheriff Ray Birch said no citations were issued.

Birch said drivers should be cautious this time of year of migrating wildlife on roads and to also be aware of the possibility of cattle and horses on county roads and highways.

The owner of the horses said he did not know how they got loose from a property that is a couple of miles away from the scene of the crash.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10