Horses Die in Crash Near Highway 154

Friday, March 28, 2014
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Two horses died and six more suffered injuries as a result of a one-car crash early this morning on Old San Marcos Road south of Highway 154, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Driver Mathew Gilespie, a 54-year-old Arizona resident working for a professional horse transport company, was pulling a trailer of eight horses in a seven-horse-capacity trailer when he “failed to negotiate a curve” on the road, causing the trailer to hit the shoulder and nearly flip over.

According to the CHP, the horses were thrown around as a result, landing on their heads and shoulders. Gilespie tried to release the frightened horses from the trailer. CHP officers, Sheriff’s Department deputies, and agents from Santa Barbara Animal Services, the Santa Barbara Humane Society, and three area veterinarians all showed up to help. A female horse died of her injuries, a male horse had to be euthanized, and five others were taken to Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Santa Ynez. One male horse was returned to his stable with only minor injuries.

The CHP said alcohol and drugs didn’t play a role in the crash, but that it is under investigation.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

What a cruel person to transport horses crammed together in inadequate space, then take a turn too fast and cause their suffering and death.
He will probably only get a minor conviction. Shameful.

eddiekd (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2014 at 8:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is nothing to indicate that the driver was going too fast. He was following GPS instructions and tried to negotiate a hairpin turn on a road that the County should have signed as unsuitable for long vehicles - trailers, semis, etc.

fredb93117 (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2014 at 6:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The 154 is not a good road for trailering anything. the 101 is much more well suited for this type of activity.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2014 at 8:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

^^^ That accident occurred on Old San Marcos Pass Road (i.e. the road that goes up to the Trout Club) not the 154.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2014 at 8:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

why would anyone trailer anything up OSM?

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2014 at 11:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

^^^ Might have been unfamiliar with the area and relied on GPS. There are stables on the lower part of OSM so there may have been no choice as well.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2014 at 4:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If he indeed was following GPS recommendations, it confirms my opinion that maps are a far superior way to navigate.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2014 at 10:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sadly, this guy didn't know what was happening with the road and the hairpin. There is no way one could make that turn with that many horses in that long of a trailer. From what I have read the trailer had one extra horse than it was made for. Really sad all around. Maybe some labeling on Old San Marcos, 2 axles MAX would help.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2014 at 3:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is a sign at the intersection of 154/OSM. He made it through the first (total of 4) hairpin turn and got stuck at the second. There is a picture on Noozhawk of the tilted trailer.

locke (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2014 at 4:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dang, you'd think if an out of towner was picking up your horses from a stable somewhere in town you might want to ask them how they were leaving town and advise them of any potential hazards... really sad for the animals and people alike.

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2014 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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