MILTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WYTV) – Interstate 76 eastbound over Lake Milton was closed for about four hours Thursday evening following a three-car pileup that resulted in the death of one driver as well as three horses.
The victim was identified as William Tankard, 31, of Aiken, S.C.
The vehicles involved were a passenger vehicle, a semi truck and a pickup pulling a horse trailer. The accident happened around 3:45 p.m.
“He went to swerve around them, hit the trailer, the trailer flipped. When the trailer flipped on the side, it came loose and he rammed into a passing truck, into the back end of it,” witness Jerome Wyckoff said.
Officers said the animals made the scene even more challenging.
“It is definitely not common out here,” Lt. Nakia Hendrix with the Canfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. “We were fortunate to have first responders respond promptly and also some of the motorists stopped to help corral the horses. We had a local farmer come out and help us extricate them.”
Ten horses were inside the trailer and the surviving seven are expected to recover. A local veterinarian is treating the injured horses.
“As you can imagine, on impact the horses scrambled around. They have metal shoes on and that can cause more cuts to themselves and the other horses in the trailer, along with the debris,” Dr. Steve Miletta said.
The vet said these horses are thoroughbreds and part of a polo team. One of them won’t return to the field because of a tendon injury from Thursday’s crash.
“They will be able to recoup. They are pretty resilient and remarkable animals,” Miletta said.