CORNING: Two horses fatally struck on I-5, multiple people injured – 1 airlifted
CORNING — Several people were hospitalized – including one motorist who was airlifted with major injuries – after two horses were struck and killed late Monday night. The riderless horses were hit while trying to cross the southbound lanes of I-5, north of Corning Rd. in Corning, according to California Highway Patrol.
The accident forced the temporary closure of the interstate while officials removed the bodies of the two deceased horses and CHP investigated the deadly crash.
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CHP officers, Tehama County sheriff’s deputies, Cal Fire firefighters and paramedics, and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the crash shortly before midnight, after motorists and witnesses called 911 to report the accident.
When officials arrived at the scene they found a 2008 Hyundai with major front-end damage and a 2008 Chevrolet 2500 pickup that had spun off the interstate and crashed backwards into a fence and storage building.
Fire officials determined the driver of the Hyundai, later identified as 23-year-old Corning resident Daniel Macias, sustained major, traumatic injuries and was trapped inside his small car.
Based on the severity of Macias’ injuries, officials requested an air ambulance respond to the scene to life-flight the seriously injured man.
Officials also located five people who had been inside the Chevy pickup at the time of the collisions. Although Serrato and one of her passengers were uninjured, three of the truck’s occupants, including two juveniles and a 56-year-old woman, were injured, CHP spokesperson Officer Omar Valdez explained after the accident.
While firefighters performed a cut and rescue operation to free Macias from his wrecked Hyundai and paramedics treated the other injured victims, CHP investigated the cause of the accident.
During their investigation, CHP determined that just before the collisions Macias was driving the Hyundai southbound on I-5 in the number one lane, north of Corning. At the same time, 30-year-old, East Wenatchee, Washington resident Cristina Serrato was driving behind Macias in the Chevy pickup.
Both vehicles were traveling about 70 mph, Valdez later explained.
According to Valdez, the two unattended horses were attempting to cross the southbound lanes of I-5 when Macias smashed into the first horse. Moments later Serrato struck the second horse, sending the woman’s Chevrolet spinning counter-clockwise where it then hit the first horse before the truck careened backwards off the freeway.
Both horses died as a result of the collisions.
Firefighters eventually extricated Macias from the destroyed Hyundai and he was air-lifted to Enloe Medical Center with major injuries.
Although Serrato and one of her passengers were uninjured, three of her passengers, including two juveniles and a 56-year-old woman, suffered minor cuts, abrasions, and bruises. All three were transported by ground ambulances to Saint Elizabeth Hospital for further treatment and follow up.
The interstate was briefly closed to allow officials to remove the deceased horses and damaged vehicles from the area. The freeway was re-opened a short time later.
Officials are still working to determine who the horses belonged to and why they had been crossing the freeway.
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Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 – soon to be 15 – grandchildren.