13 horses killed in crash on I-44; others survived


WASHINGTON, Mo. – A tractor trailer carrying 29 horses flipped on WB I-44 in Franklin County last night. Thirteen of the horses died or had to be euthanized.

It happened just west of the Washington exit around 8:15 pm Sunday. The Boles Fire Department, Missouri Highway Patrol, the MERS Large Animal Rescue, Homestead Veterinary Service’s and the Missouri Humane Society were called out to assist with the rescue.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is still working on its crash report but it appears the tractor-trailer flipped into the median.

Bill Schmidt with MERS Large Animal Rescue tells FOX2 his crew of nine were on the scene until 3:15 a.m.

The horses were removed with help from pull ropes from the fire department. Every horse needed a halter to be removed from the vehicle.

Schmidt says shortly after the accident, 3 horses escaped and were eventually found by the Highway Patrol west of the exit on HWY 100.

MERS Large Animal Rescue posted on Facebook that the Humane Society of Missouri Investigator and Veterinarian evaluated and transported the loose horses.

The crews created two areas or pens, one to contain animals as they were loaded off the back of the trailer, and the other for triage.

The 16 surviving horses were taken nearby to the Human Society’s Longmeadow Ranch in Union. No word on injuries.

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