- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - No charges will be filed against the owner of a horse that escaped and caused a fatal crash or the property owners where the horse was kept.

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Bourne tells the Idaho Statesman (https://bit.ly/1hhljCg) in a story on Monday that prosecutors made the decision. Bourne said the infraction carries no significant penalty.

“We’ve decided to let the civil case take its course,” Bourne said.

It’s unclear if the family of 43-year-old Alma Sanchez of Emmett plans to file a civil lawsuit against horse owner Patrick Casey Robertson or property owners Jeff Spencer and his wife, Jane.

Sanchez died March 3 when the 1997 Honda Accord she was driving struck the horse on Idaho Highway 16 northwest of Boise at about 5 a.m. Two passengers, her co-workers at Mountain View Packaging in Boise, were injured. Guadalupe G. Napoles, 50, and Reyna Barrios, 53, both of Emmett, were taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.

Jeff Spencer said he has been training horses at the site northeast of Star for 16 years. He said two horses got out, and they belonged to Patrick Casey Robertson, a professional horse trainer and recent hire.

“I never saw the horses,” Spencer said.

Police said the car hit one of the horses straight-on, with the point of impact being the front window and top of the car.

After hitting the horse, police said, the car crossed over the opposite lane and went down an embankment. It then went through a fence and into a field.

Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg said Sanchez wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The area where the crash occurred was dark with no street lights. The road, where the speed limit is 65 mph, was dry at the time, police said.

Jeff Spencer said two horses knocked down a steel-paneled fence and then wandered a half mile down a driveway to the road. He said it’s not clear what spooked them, but they must have been running hard to knock down the fence.

“It’s a horrible thing for them to get out and run down the road that way,” he said. “That’s everybody’s nightmare.”

Spencer told The Associated Press on Monday that Robertson was not commenting about the accident.


Information from: Idaho Statesman, https://www.idahostatesman.com

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