2 Horses Rescued, 1killed when trailer flips hitch fails, "Safety Chains Failed" Defective Products?
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2 horses rescued, 1 killed when trailer flips in West Valley

Reported by: Katrina Wessman
Email: kwessman@abc15.com

Last Update: 2/05 3:35 pm

WITTMANN, AZ – Crews rescued two horses, but a third was killed after a trailer flipped in a west Valley accident Friday morning.

The crash occurred in the area of Grand Avenue and Patton Road around 8 a.m.

John Klidas with the Surprise Fire Department said a pickup was pulling a trailer with three horses when the trailer became detached and rolled into the median.

Two of the horses survived the crash.

Air15 video showed a trailer on its side in the dirt area between the roadways.

Fire crews were seen walking two horses out of the trailer.

No people were injured during the wreck, according to Klidas.

The driver and owner of the horses, Butch Terrell, said he has had the horses for a long time.

Video Owner of horses in deadly wreck talks about the accident

"One was 27, one was 20 and one was 7," Terrell said. “Two of them I had a long time. One I had forever.  She survived actually, the oldest one."

It is unclear which horse was killed during the accident.

“The hitch broke on the motor home so it detached the trailer," Terrell said. "I felt it [the trailer] jerk a little bit. Of course I hit the brakes, but it see-sawed a couple of times, detached, and broke the safety chains. I said 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,' praying that it wouldn't kill the horses.  So I guess He was two-thirds successful, so it could have been worse."


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    Horse killed when trailer rolls in Wittmann

    by Catherine Holland

    Posted on February 5, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Updated Friday, Feb 5 at 4:41 PM

    WITTMANN -- A horse trailer with three horses inside rolled over in the West Valley Friday morning.

    It happened at about 8:30 a.m. near Grand Avenue and Patton Road in Wittmann. Fire crews from Surprise responded to the scene.

    Emergency crews were able to extricate two of the horses. Aerial video showed crews walking those horses around. A third animal did not survive the wreck.

    Lanes were restricted in both directions for a time.

    According to Chief Eddie Rios  of the Wittmann Fire Department, it looks like the hitch connecting the trailer to the motor home that was hauling it came undone. The trailer detached and rolled over.

    The motor home was traveling eastbound between Wittmann and Sun City.

    There's no word on the condition of the driver.

    Officer Robert Bailey of the Department of Public Safety said this it not the first time time kind of accident has happened.

    "Last month, we had that happen here near the 202 and I-10, some people pulling two Clydesdales that came off the trailer," he said. "It happens from time to time."

    Bailey said it's possible that the safety chains on the hitch might have snapped.

    "A lot of times, it's operator error," Bailey said. "And they might not have strong enough safety chains. Those safety chains often snap, especially with those heavy horses."


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