I drive a four-horse trailer with full living quarters, a rig that weighs about 10 tons, and about once a month I drive it fully loaded to events 250 to 500 miles away. So when I read about the horrible crash of event rider Michael Pollard?s six-horse trailer last week, it made me even more angry and defensive about the stupid drivers I face on the road.
Michael?s rig, with six horses (including his advanced horses Icarus and Jude?s Law) and being driven by one of his employees, was traveling down an rural highway at 50-plus mph when a male driver pulled in front of them from a side road and failed to accelerate quickly enough to avoid a collision. My understanding is that Michael?s employee swerved to avoid the collision and lost control, causing the trailer to become disconnected from the truck as it flipped over one or more times.
One horse died on the scene, and Icarus and Jude?s Law were euthanized in a vet clinic within days because of their injuries (a ruptured joint capsule and a ruptured cecum). As of today, the three other horses appear likely to survive.
I'm so sorry for Michael?I don't even want to imagine losing any horses in this kind of accident, but losing fabulous horses like those because of some stupid driver?s incredibly poor decision must be unbearable.
Here's why I'd be absolutely furious if I were Michael: The stupid ass told the police that he pulled out in front of the trailer because he was late for a date and he didn't want to get stuck behind the trailer, and he thought it would stop in time. Talk about stupid!! He wasn?t even smart enough to claim he hadn?t seen the trailer or that he?d misjudged its speed. And he thought his date was more important than other people?s and horses lives.
If it were me, and someone had talked me out of hunting down this moron to beat the horse crap out of him, I'd be suing him for every single thing he has. Of course, fate has probably ordained that He's so stupid that he hasn?t got a dime, but, after my insurance companies (I use the plural, because I'm sure the horses were insured) were done with this guy, I'd want every cent he ever makes to come to me. I'd be looking to make sure the rest of his life is a living hell for what he?d put me and everyone around me through (including the woman who was driving Michael?s rig).
I frequently have stupid drivers pass our trailer as I proceed at 25 to 30 mph on our narrow, twisting two-lane road (which has a double yellow line). And tHere's hardly a trip when, on an interstate, some idiot doesn't come zooming past me on the left and then cut in front of me to get to the exit 100 yards ahead. I recommend one less latte in the morning for those idiots.
Seriously, I think there is a lesson in this horrible crash for those of us who do drive big trailer rigs. I've reminded my wife, Heather, that, if a car or cars stop suddenly ahead of our rig, do not swerve to avoid the cars ahead of her. Swerving is what these heavy rigs cannot do, because the weight throws them over. I tell her to shift down, stand on the brakes, and hope our one-ton truck will take the impact. it's not going to be pretty or happy, but the odds are better.
And always watch out for morons behind the wheel, especially morons who are supposed to be yielding the right of way to us.
Click here to hear Michael Pollard's interview about the accident.