Reporting Heather Brown
“It’s obviously a situation that we recognize will be tragic for the owners of the horses,” said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. “It’s not something we take lightly, but at 2 in the morning, in the dark, it’s really just a matter of time before something happens that ends in death or injury to a motorist.”
As for using a tranquilizer on the large animals, Roekse said, “We’re not vets, we don’t have the capability to do that.”
Clemens questioned why troopers or deputies didn’t try to stop traffic.
“I’ve seen people stop traffic for a turkey on a highway, why didn’t they do that,” she asked. “Why didn’t they come get me. It just takes 10 minutes to walk here.”
Roeske said interstates are dangerous enough in the middle of the night. He recounted a story about a trooper hitting a horse last year and ending up seriously injured.
“We’ve seen firsthand how damaging and dangerous it can be,” he said. “At two o’clock in the morning, in the pitch dark, it becomes a very dangerous situation for everyone involved.”
About 20 minutes after the first call came in, the state trooper, along with the deputies present, decided it would be best to put the horses down. The trooper shot the horses with his rifle in the median.
“It’s a horrible, horrible thing,” said Clemens. “They’re part of your family. It isn’t like they’re a cow.”
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Clemens will be held responsible for the removal of the horses in the median.
Clemens said she expects a bill sometime within the year and her insurance company will not be able to cover any of it.
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