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Horse killed in interstate crash
A horse died in three-vehicle crash that snarled Interstate 95 in Spotsylvania County during yesterday's morning rush

 A tractor-trailer struck a box truck and then a pickup hauling a horse trailer on Interstate 95 near Massaponax early yesterday. Four people were transported to local hospitals, and one of three horses in the trailer was killed.
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Date published: 9/15/2010

By Jim Toler


Spotsylvania Fire and Rescue Division Chief Doug Boggs' training in equine rescue paid off yesterday.

Boggs was among the emergency personnel dispatched to Interstate 95 at Massaponax yesterday morning after a tractor-trailer rear-ended a box truck and then crossed the northbound lanes, traveled through the median and into the southbound lanes where it struck a pickup hauling a two-axle horse trailer.

Both the pickup and tractor-trailer ran off the road and overturned in the median, killing one horse.

That three-vehicle crash, about 6:15 a.m., closed one lane on each side of the interstate for four hours, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.

Traffic also got congested on roads in the Four-Mile Fork area. However, Spotsylvania Sheriff's Capt. Liz Scott said she was surprised it wasn't worse for those trying to get to work and school.

Geller said charges are pending and the investigation was ongoing yesterday afternoon.

Four people in the vehicles were transported to local hospitals, Geller said. The driver of the box truck, 56-year-old David D. Youmans of Virginia Beach, and the driver of the pickup, 49-year-old Todd S. Hill of Maquoketa, Iowa, were treated and released at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

Tractor-trailer driver Richard J. Beam, 34, of Ohio, and his passenger, Nancy C. Servidio, 57, of Pennsylvania, were taken to Mary Washington Hospital. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening, Geller said.


When Boggs arrived at the interstate crash scene--located just north of Spotsylvania exit--he expected to employ his skills as the county's hazardous materials officer. But first responders had already determined there was no risk, so he turned to his training in large animal rescue instead.

He approached the horse trailer that lay on its side with the overturned GMC 2500 pickup that had been hauling it.

When he looked inside, he realized one of the horses had been killed in the crash.

A second horse, a gray mare, was still on its feet. Eventually, he realized a third horse lay beneath debris in the trailer.

Boggs said he focused on keeping the surviving horses calm and himself out of harm's--and hooves'--way.

After firefighters cut through the rear of the trailer, he was able to help the gray horse to safety. Then they were able to uncover the other surviving horse and eventually lead it out.

Boggs stressed that it was a team effort.

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