Horses Bring Traffic To A Stop In Okmulgee County

Thursday, January 30th 2014, 7:38 pm
By: Craig Day

A heads-up truck driver is being credited with preventing an accident on Highway 75. About a dozen runaway horses were loose along the highway in Okmulgee County Wednesday, but thanks to the truck driver no one was hurt.

A woman shot cell phone video of the event and is just thankful the truck driver knew what to do, and no horses or people were hurt.

With Highway 75 South of Okmulgee being such a busy highway, Melanie Strickland was curious as several cars pulled over Wednesday.

"All of the other cars were stopped, I was the only one going," said Strickland.

Strickland was headed to Dallas when she saw about a dozen horses running dangerously close to the highway.

"At first I thought maybe there would be people up ahead that would guide them, but when I got up there I realized they were completely loose," Strickland said.

She said a truck driver stopped, got others to pull over and then shooed the horses onto a county road, and away from cars.

"He just got out right in the middle of the highway and he was waving his arms, and that's why they stopped and turned," said Strickland.

Okmulgee County's Sheriff Eddy Rice said the owners rounded up the horses without any problems.

"Getting it down a less traveled road is awesome," Rice said.

While this incident ended okay, other cases haven't. Emergency personnel said it can be deadly.

"An animal of that size, a small car hitting it, it just rolls right into the windshield and can do quite a bit of damage," said Rice.

Rice said anytime a driver sees livestock on the highway to call for help, slow down, and put their car's flashers on to alert other drivers.

"You can never tell what an animal is going to do, it may be a spontaneous dart into traffic," said Rice.

In Oklahoma, it's hard to pursue a legal case if a car hits livestock.

A person who hits an animal must prove the owner either intentionally let the animal escape, or their negligence allowed it to get out.