Authorities Investigating Cause of Accident
TUESDAY, AUG. 8, 2017 – A horse died in a traffic accident Monday night in Desert Hot Springs after being struck by a bus and a car.
The horse rider was also seriously injured in an accident that involved multiple vehicles. He was transported to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Update on his condition is unknown.
Emergency responders arrived on scene at about 9 p.m. Riverside County Animal Services Sgt. Miguel Hernandez responded, but the horse was already dead from the serious injuries caused after being struck by two vehicles.
The horse was initially clipped by a Sunline Transit Agency bus traveling south on Palm Drive. According to authorities, the horse rider was traveling on 20th Avenue and was attempting to cross Palm Drive, south of the Movida Palm Springs resort and north of Interstate 10. He was thrown from the horse after the bus clipped his animal.
It is believed that the bus driver had the right of way and the horse rider did not have any reflectors or lights on his horse. After the horse was clipped and its rider fell off, the startled animal took off and was struck by a motorist driving a Dodge Durango. The bus driver, nor the driver of the Durango, suffered injuries. A third vehicle hit the horse but the animal was believed to have already expired.
“We are still receiving information from our friends in law enforcement, and we will let the investigation run its course,” Animal Services Director Robert Miller said. “But initial information leaves us to believe that the horse rider was at fault in this preventable accident.”
Miller said that most responsible horse owners take precautions when riding at night. And such riders do not ride at night near busy roadways, Miller said. “Reflective gear or some lights should be a must for riders at night, similar to what cyclists use when they’re out during darker hours,” Miller said. “To do so without such gear is highly irresponsible.”
A Website link produced by the Kentucky Equine Research offers tips about night riding. One tip includes this: “Be clear of any roads well before dusk. As a precaution, bring lights and reflective vests and boots in case the ride is delayed for any reason, putting you on or near roads when daylight begins to fade.” Additional tips can be found here: http://www.equinews.com/article/stay-safe-when-riding-horses-near-roads
Riverside County Animal Services requested the horse removed by a company it uses to remove dead livestock.