Join Date: Oct 2003
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O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry... (UPDATED)
In my 25 years of life I have never seen my father cry... Until yesterday. I have a story to vent, which may get graphic at times but I appreciate the outlet.
At 3pm on New Years day I received a phone call from my younger brother in Ohio. He informed me that my Dad and stepmom were in a horrible accident.
In the past 3 years, my Father and Stepmother have purchased and fallen in love with Icelandic horses. They have acres of land behind they're house with beautiful paddocks and stables (which incidentally never get used since Icelandics love being outside).
They decided to go to a plantation in South Carolina over Christmas/New Years break for a 2 week extended vacation. They pulled two of our Mares behind our Motorhome and stayed on the plantation the whole time enjoying themsleves. All in all, it was a great break.
On New Years Eve, they packed up and began their ride back to Ohio. Near the North/South Carolina border there was a small car accident a few miles up which caused a slowdown in traffic with the usual rubberneckers. Apparently a vehicle had lost its wheel ahead and partially blocked the highway obviously causing traffic. As they slowly came to a stop my mom mentioned that she "sure hopes people behind them are noticing the slowdown." Right when she said that my dad looked down at the small tv in the dash which projected the image from the rear camera when he was shocked to see the last few seconds of a Semi-Truck barreling down on them at over 65 MPH.
The shock was incredible. To give you an idea, they had a 36" television in the area above their heads for the kitchen/dining/living room area of the motorhome. The instant of the collision, the 36" tv flew straight backwards until it hit the end of the cables and swung forward til it came to a stop between my dad and stepmom.
Immediately following the collision they managed to go out to see what damage had been done. The semi complete obliterated the aluminum trailer holding the two mares. After destroying the trailer, the semi continued onto our motorhome and begun to push the diesel motor into the rear bedroom of the motorhome. The semi pushed the motorhome onto the shoulder and 300 feet down the road. Luckily, the motorhome absorbed enough of the collision in that the semi did not reach the gas/propane tanks beneath the motorhome.
Both of the mares were killed instantly. On top of that, both of them were pregnant with one due in feb/march. The foal from that mare was ejected upon impact and was found on scene in the ditch. (I apologize for the graphicness). Thankfully, they had no idea what happened. They had no chance.
My Father and stepmom walked away without a scratch. The seats they were sitting in had really high backs so they did not have whiplash or anything - just complete and udder shock. The driver of the truck also walked away without harm. Although we all agree that he is going to have issues later in life. Not only did he have to watch the mutilation of two innocent horses, but, several slats from the aluminum trailer flew into his cab and skewered the seat on his right, and in his seat to the left. He came VERY close to dieing.
All in all my father said that the ten seconds that started from when the truck hit them to when they came to a stop cost a minimum of $375,000. This is just the cost of the horses and motorhome.
This is not counting the incredible emotional loss they experienced from losing their two mares. These horses were imported from ICELAND with true ICELANDIC blood lines to help develop a herd that they can use to start a riding business when they retire from their current jobs. Thousands of hours and dollars have been lost from the negligence of one man who simply couldn't accept the responsibility of paying attention to what is going on around him.
Four Ir-replacable horses lost their lives New Years Eve. A bloodline of horses came to an abrupt end.
My dad has a very stressful job. He owns his own consulting company which, while is very lucrative, is VERY stressful as well. The horses were a release for him. It helped rein his stress back into something that is managable, thus increasing his health.
The only comforting thought we can come up with right now is that we know the horses had two weeks of relaxation and gentle yet fun trailriding before their unfortunate demise.
There's something innocent about animals. Whether they are 2000 lb horses, or 2 lb dogs, the fact that they can't seem to intentionally do harm. Thats what makes this tragic.