Horse owner devastated by Chestertown crash that left ‘gentle giant’ dead
CHESTERTOWN – The deadly crash that took place on Atateka Drive in Chestertown, Warren County on New Year’s Eve was more than just a tragedy. The collision involved two distinctly different modes of transportation invented centuries apart in distinctly different periods of American history – a motorized car and a horse carriage.
“It was absolutely horrible,” said Malcolm Laustro, general manager of the Circle B Ranch, which owns the horses. “It’s something you never want to see.”
What Laustro saw as he arrived at the crash scene moments after it happened were gashes left in the asphalt by sharp blade runners on the bottom of the sleigh. He also saw three people, the carriage driver and the young married couple who were passengers, lying injured on the ground. He saw Jethro, a 2,500 pound draft horse, described as a gentle giant, unable to get up.
“(The other horses in the pasture) definitely know that something is missing,” Laustro said. “You notice their heads are down a little more, and they’re not as active.”
Generally speaking, motorists usually slow down when they see a horse and wait to be waved through, Laustro said. He doesn’t understand why this had to happen, pointing out it was broad daylight, the road was dry, and there was a flashing safety light triangle mounted on the back of the carriage.
“I feel we did everything we could to take proper safety precautions,” Laustro said.
After being in business for more than six decades, Circle B Ranch Owner Greg Boggia told NewsChannel 13 “nothing like this has ever happened before.”
As the investigation continues, he prays it never happens again.