A horse running into traffic could be fatal for everyone involved.
Photo by Thomas Reich
Pooh Johnson still shudders when she thinks how much worse it
could have been. She's the owner of the two horses who fled her
farm Thanksgiving Day and ran head-on into 70mph traffic on
Johnson's chestnut mare, Bunny, collided with a westbound Nissan
SUV driven by David Firth, 62, of Lynchburg. Jaws of life were
necessary to extract Firth from beneath the sheared-off roof of his
crumpled vehicle before he and his wife, Kathy, were taken to UVA
Medical Center with serious, but non-life threatening,
Johnson, who owns Old Poorhouse Farm on Black Cat Road in
Keswick, says her daughter had been riding, had groomed the horses,
and was putting Bunny in the paddock around dusk when she heard
"The horse backed up when going through the gate and started
down the drive," says Johnson, who was in Richmond when the escape
occurred. "The other one followed."
She's still puzzled about the direction the horses took.
"Why would they leave the farm and head to the interstate with
all that noise and lights?" Johnson wonders. "I almost think she
Bunny, whom Johnson says was between 18 and 20 years old, was
killed by the collision, but Johnson's daughter was able to walk
the other horse, a white male named Spanky, back to the farm. "It's
a miracle he wasn't killed," says Johnson.
Johnson has lived at Old Poorhouse since 1971 and remembers one
other horse getting loose during those 40 years when a ga...