Two horses were killed when a horse trailer nearly overturned in the 2000 block of North San Marcos Road early Friday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.
CHP got the call at 5:46 a.m. and found the trailer almost on its side near a hairpin turn.
Mathew Gillespie, 54, of Tonopah, Ariz., a driver for a professional horse transport company, was driving down Highway 154 and turned onto San Marcos Road to deliver a horse, CHP Officer Kevin Taulbee said.
“The driver had (eight) horses with him and made a hairpin turn; he was unfamiliar with the road and it was dark,” Taulbee said.
Sgt. Dave Robertson said the driver failed to manage a turn and high-centered the trailer on the shoulder, causing the trailer to pitch to the left and nearly overturn. There were eight horses inside (earlier reported to be seven) and they were thrown against the side of the trailer, landing on their heads and shoulders, Robertson said.
Gillespie tried to remove the horses from the trailer and then CHP officers, sheriff's deputies, Santa Barbara Animal Services, the Santa Barbara Humane Society and local residents responded to the scene.
Three local veterinarians arrived to render aid to the injured horses: Dr. Steve Goss, Dr. Bruce Kuesis and Dr. Karen Blumenshire, according to the CHP.
One of the horses died from her injuries and another had to be euthanized due to his injuries, Taulbee said. Many of the other horses are injured as well, but nothing as serious.
Five were transported to the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Santa Ynez for treatment, and one was walked to his stable with minor injuries, Robertson said.
The CHP is investigating the incident but drugs or alcohol are not considered factors in the collision.