Rescuers free trapped horses after I-95 wreck

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Yemassee — A semi hauling six horses in a trailer overturned on the shoulder of Interstate 95 Wednesday night, trapping the animals inside as rescuers worked to free them in a downpour.

Colleton County Fire and Rescue members freed five of the horses through holes they cut in the top of the enclosed trailer. A sixth horse had to be euthanized because of the severity of its injuries, Director Barry McRoy said.

One of two men riding in the trailer also was hurt in the crash. He was taken to Colleton Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, McRoy said. The other man in the trailer and the semi driver were not hurt.

The wreck happened about 7:30 p.m. near the U.S. Highway 21 interchange, about 10 miles south of Walterboro. The semi ran off the right shoulder of I-95, spun around backwards and rolled on its side at the wood line, McRoy said.

The firefighters and paramedics freed the animals, which were treated on scene by staff from the Edisto Equine Clinic on Edisto Island and a Walterboro veterinarian. One of the surviving horses had moderate injuries and the other four had what appeared to be minor injuries, McRoy said.

The surviving horses were taken to the clinic by another horse trailer that was traveling ahead of the trailer that wrecked.

They also recovered two cats that were riding inside carries in the back.

One lane of the highway was closed for three hours while crews worked to free the horses. The S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.