A Keremeos woman is heartbroken for all involved and wondering what will happen to a foal after its mother, believed to be a wild horse, was hit by a vehicle and put down on Highway 3 last week.
Ruth Wilsher said after dinner with friends, she and her husband were driving home along Highway 3, just west of Keremeos when they saw lots of flashing hazard lights.
“Concerned for the safety of others and being so close to our home we stopped to help. My husband got out of the car and walked ahead to see what the incident was. Being so dark with cars approaching from behind I also turned on my 4-way hazard lights,” said Wilsher. A pinto horse had been hit by a car and was badly injured with a broken leg, she said.
The driver who hit the animal stayed on scene to speak to the RCMP. The neighbour whose property was closest to the scene stayed to provide information to the RCMP.
Near the injured mare were the other wild horses from the group.
“We could hear them calling and whinnying,” she added.
RCMP checked on the driver before turning their attention to the injured horse. It was an obvious fracture and would have to be euthanized.
The situation has left Wilsher traumatized and now worried about what will happen to the orphaned foal.
She’s also worried this could happen again.
Concerned residents have been trying to get into contact with anyone who might be able to get the wild horses away from the busy highway and to find out if anyone looks out for them.
“So far, I haven’t been able to get any answers,” she said.
The wild horses, a herd of about 20, have been roaming the highway for weeks, she said. Wilsher, who lives near the Similkameen River, believes the horses came across the waterway now that it is so low.
”It appears that no one owns the horses, and no help was offered. Not even a sign on the highway warning of loose horses,” she said.
A neighbour and Wilsher believe it’s just a matter of time before another horse gets hit by a vehicle and someone driving on the highway gets hurt.
She feels awful for everyone involved in the tragedy, from the driver to the RCMP officer who had to put the horse down.
A sign warning that wild horses are in the area has been posted along Highway 97 between Summerland and Penticton for months, but Wilsher would like to see more signs placed along the road.
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