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Horse Killed, 2 People Injured, One Gravely, in Massive Wreck on SR100 and CR305

| June 6, 2013

The remains of the pick-up truck, after its driver, an elderly woman, was extracted. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The remains of the pick-up truck, after its driver, an elderly woman, was extracted. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: Friday, 2:35 p.m. p.m.

Kathleen Stevens of New Smyrna Beach, who was driving a pick-up truck, was severely injured, the horse she was trailing was killed, and Mario Gomez, who was driving an armored truck that collided with the pick-up, was hurt in a massive, rain-soaked collision at the intersection of State Road 100 and County Road 305 at 3:30 Thursday afternoon.

Both lanes of State Road 100 were closed to traffic from 305 to County Road 302 as investigators, paramedics and police were at the wreck scene. The lanes reopened by 6 p.m.

The pick-up overturned in a ditch, dragging the horse trailer with it. Stevens, 55, had to be extracted in a 54-minute long, laborious and painful process before she was taken with two broken legs to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach, by ground ambulance. She was conscious and alert throughout the procedure.

The armored truck belongs to Garda. It was on the clock. It was carrying money. At 5 p.m., a second Garda truck arrived to pick up the cargo of the truck involved in the wreck. Gomez, 50, suffered a broken arm. He is from Orlando. He was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler. Edwin Perez Feliciano, 27, of Orlando, who was riding in the armored truck, was not injured.

“Preliminary investigative findings,” Florida Highway Patrol trooper Daniel Schlosser said at the scene, “indicate that the armored car was traveling westbound, towards Palatka. The pick-up truck with the trailer was coming eastbound towards Bunnell. There was a vehicle stopped in the westbound lane to make a left-hand turn onto County Road 305. According to the witness, which is the gentleman that is in the armored car, when the driver [of the armored car] hit the brakes, he started spinning, and eventually crossed over and hit the pick-up truck in the eastbound lane.”

Charges are pending against Gomez of the armored truck. Depending on the results of the investigation, “He may be cited for either careless driving or too fast for conditions,” the trooper said. The road was wet at the time of the wreck.

The wreck took place between 3:20 and 3:25 p.m.

Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito was also at the scene. He spoke minutes after Stevens had been extracted from the pick-up truck, as he congratulated paramedics collecting tools and instruments they’d used around the wreckage.

“She was trapped in the driver seat, inverted like the car is,” on the passenger side of the truck, Petito said, “and her feet were trapped underneath the dashboard, in the pedals. So what they had to do, they had to cut the roof off, like you can see here, the door was cut off, and then they had to cut the dash and raise it up a little bit to get in and get her feet out from underneath of all the pedals. Once they got all that, they cut the seatbelt, then a bunch of guys lowered her down onto the backboard and pulled her out.”

The extraction took 54 minutes. There was a baby seat in the center of the back seat, unoccupied at the time of the wreck.


“While she was there,” Petito continued, “there were a couple of paramedics that were in there with her, talking to her, they started an IV, gave her oxygen, tried to calm her, made sure she was covered while all the cutting was going on, and then explain to her exactly what was going on while it was going on so she knew what was happening. She was very calm until we started pulling her out, until the pain increases–when we start pulling her out of there. She’d broken her legs, so I’m sure she felt that pain.”

Petito had not gotten the full report on her injuries, but said as far as he knew immediately after the extraction, the two broken legs were the extent of it.

Flagler County Fire Rescue units responded to the wreck, as did FHP, the sheriff’s office and the Palm Coast Fire Police, which diverted traffic.

After the ambulance had left, Bess Wall, a Flagler County teacher and rancher, arrived to take charge of the horse.

“The horse will be buried,” Wall said, “and if the owner wants to know where it’s buried, then well tell the owner where it’s buried, other than that nobody else will know where it’s buried. But it’s going to be buried, because that’s what needs to be done.”

Describing the procedure that was to follow, she said: “The only thing you can do is pull it out, put it on a trailer and pull it into the woods and bury it.” A Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy in charge of agricultural matters was coordinating with Wall how to proceed. Wall estimated that it was a barrel horse, but hadn’t yet conducted a closer inspection. She could not tell the horse’s age. The horse remained in the trailer until it was pulled out and placed on a trailer. Wall was going to visit the horse’s owner afterward, at the hospital.

“I’m going to go visit her, I know that, I’ll go talk to her when she’s feeling a little better, and just let her know what’s happened to the horse,” Wall said.

“I know what it is, because I lost three mules down here back when the mules were killed about four years ago on the road. So I have an understanding of the heart–the hurt–that it is.”

Some of the equipment Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedics used during the 54-minute extraction. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Some of the equipment Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedics used during the 54-minute extraction. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The pick-up truck and the trailer were catapulted into the ditch by the force and weight of the armored truck. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The pick-up truck and the trailer were catapulted into the ditch by the force and weight of the armored truck. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The armored truck, where it impacted the pick-up. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The armored truck, where it impacted the pick-up. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The roof of the pick--up had to be sheared off. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The roof of the pick–up had to be sheared off. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The extraction took 54 minutes. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The extraction took 54 minutes. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Cash. Logistics. Wreck. Men transfer cargo from one truck to another. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Cash. Logistics. Wreck. Men transfer cargo from one truck to another. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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36 Responses for “Horse Killed, 2 People Injured, One Gravely, in Massive Wreck on SR100 and CR305”

  1. Diego Miller says:

    Not the perfect day to be traveling with a horse, unless it was an emergency. I bet the Brinks truck was speeding, and probably in need of repairs or tires. Some of the characters I have seen working for these armored truck companies seem to be lacking in the IQ dept. I suppose the pay is not so good and therefore standards must be lowered.

    • Bess Wall says:

      NOT Brinks. It was GARDA.. That needs to be correct. I imagine a law suit might come to pass and we need to make sure the names are correct.

  2. tax payer says:

    Looks like another crazy accident scene in little ole Flagler County that Flagler Fire Rescue made a difference thank you for your service. I would hate to have this accident happen to anyone that I know, but if its going to happen you your chances of a positive outcome is multiplied in Flagler County you couldn’t ask for a better group of responders.

  3. Ron Hubbard says:

    What is the design problem or human problem at that intersection? Is it so rural and relaxed appearing that driver’s just don’t pay attention or remain focused on the job of defensively driving?

    FDOT must investigate this dangerous stretch of road and make improvements.

  4. luv2swim says:

    so, so sad…. healing thoughts to the women involved in the accident & that her heart mends quickly from the loss of her horse

  5. Doris says:

    So sorry for this latest tragedy on our roads. Thankfully the life of a person was spared but how sad that a beautiful creature had to die. Bless those involved and bless Bess for heart-fully handling the horse-so sad.

  6. confidential says:

    My heart goes out for the horse lost asI can imagine the pain its injured owner will have to learn of its loss. Hope the lady recovers well. We need speed monitoring on those west Flagler county roads. We lost Mr.Robert Lask not too long ago thanks to a Waste Pro truck collision. Can’t have speeders in those narrow country roads. Still sad over that innocent horse.

  7. PC Mom says:

    Wow….the damage to the vehicle is unbelievable. So sad for all for all involved. Thank god that baby wasn’t with her!

    • Bess Wall says:

      Horse is a horse. I’ve lost them and been sad and grieved, but the injuries caused to the woman is more of a tragedy.

      • Bonnie Whitmire says:

        A horse isn’t always just a horse. They are our family members. It’s tragic that this woman is injured, thankfully she is still alive and hopefully will heal well but she will have to heal physically and emotionally. That may have been her pride and joy in that trailer, not just ‘another horse’. If that was me I would be absolutely heartbroken if something happened to my horse and it would probably be a good thing that I was injured because I would have taken it out on the driver of that armored truck for not driving for those conditions. There is no excuse for that women to be in the hospital with two broken legs and a dead horse! I feel for her and my prayers and thoughts are with her.

        • Bess Wall says:

          Bonnie, I agree that this was unnecessary. When I said a horse is a horse, they don’t have eternal spirits. Jesus died for people. The tragedy would have been to lose Kathy, horse or no horse. That is what I meant.

          I’ve lost animals because of someone’s mistake. I lost part of my heart in it. Grace was precious to me, a partner. Yet, in all of the grief and loss and emptiness, I was ever grateful that God spared people’s lives. I’d have to lose an animal to save a human’s life in most circumstances (there are exceptions: pedofiles, etc).

      • Dawn says:

        A Horse is not just a horse to these committed riders and owners!!! It is there trusted companion who steals there heart!!! It is a tragedy for both the owner and horse!!! I pray the owner recovers, knowing she will forever be changed by this tragedy and the loss of her horse~

      • Debi Keyes says:

        This horse was not a horse, this horse was this lady’s whole life, she was hauling back from the blacksmith getting this mare ready for the NBHA State at Kissimmee, she was this lady’s dream after raising children to get back into the barrel racing scene, this lady is my friend and I know how much losing Lindy’s Valentine was, and she was a beautiful mare, starting to make her owner proud. Kathy is strong and will survive the body injuries, but the heart is what is broken and there is nothing that will correct that….she had that real bond with this horse!!!!!!!

        • Dana says:

          I know Kathy as well, and her horse was her therapy and rescue to the daily stresses of life. My heart aches for her and the emotional pain she will have to overcome. She will mend physically but will need many prayers to help her deal with the loss of Valentine.

          • Dana says:

            Forgot to mention , how thankful I am she made it out of that horrible accident alive. Kathy is a very special lady!

            • Anonymous says:

              She’s a very speacil person I hope she heels okay and I hope she can find another horse to keep her stress away

        • Brandi says:

          I pray that this horse passed quick and painless. Please tell your friend to take heart in the fact that someone took care of this and treated this babys end of life with respect. I have seen some that treat a horse no better than a stray dog.

  8. Lil' Lindsey and her Mother, Bryna says:

    Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone this accident changed the lives of. I am so sorry that you have no say where your horse is laid to rest either, but at least Bess did care about what happened to him/her. I hope you have a speedy recovery and nail Garda to the wall for how messed up this is. You only have 14 days to file a claim for the medical stuff, so please don’t put it off. I learned the hard way…woman to woman. Lindsey is only 7 years old, but she has been barrel racing since she was 5 at Pierson and I understand how dangerous those roads can be. Especially people that drive that route on a daily basis, they have no respect for the other people on the road, rain or shine. Peace, Love, Health, and Happiness to you darlin’ take care;-)

  9. Happening now says:

    There should be yellow WARNING signs at that intersection before you get to 305. Too many accidents and too much speed.

  10. Lorri Myers says:

    Our love and prayers to Kathie. I know of her and her beautiful Valentine.

  11. Ralph Belcher says:

    Hopefully we can have a 35 mph speed limit on Western Flagler SR 100. I question the Garda truck operator; did he have enough attention to the road before him with the left-turn motorist waiting to safely take his/her maneuver?

  12. Carrie Wilmer says:

    This is truly heartbreaking especially for all of her family and friends in the barrel racing world that knows and loves Kathy and her amazing girl Val (Valentine ) . She is the kind of women that never has a nasty thing to say to any one and will always wish you the best . Val was not just a horse but a huge part of her family and her best friend . Please to all of you posting comment say a pray for her ,for her broken bones will take time to heal but her broken heart may never . R.I.P. Valentine you wear an amazing beautiful girl and I pray you run free in the greenest pastures of Heaven until you and Kathy can be together once again

    Just think of her as resting
    from the sorrows and the tears
    in a place of warmth and comfort
    where there are no days and years.
    Think of how she must be wishing
    that we could know today
    how nothing but our sadness
    can really pass away.
    And think of her as living
    in the hearts of those she touched. . .
    for nothing loved is ever lost- and she was loved so much.
    God saw you were getting tired,
    And a cure was not to be.
    So He put His arms around you
    And whispered, “Come To Me.”
    With tearful eyes we watched you,
    And saw you pass away.
    Although we loved you dearly,
    We could not make you stay.
    A golden heart stopped beating,
    Hard working HOOVES at rest.
    God broke our hearts to prove to us,
    HE ONLY TAKES THE BEST

  13. Agnese says:

    Perhaps the drivers of these heavy commercial vehicles should review how long it takes to come to a safe stop to avoid such accidents. Two at the same intersection? Maybe commercial drivers should also have periodic retesting? My heart goes out to Ms. Stevenson.

  14. getittogether says:

    It’s clearly a travesty that the woman suffered injuries, but a horse is not just a horse to some. Especially when this accident could have been prevented by more cautious driving on the behalf of Mr. Gomez. It has nothing to do with the roads, and everything to do with the fact that people drive like maniacs on that road. I’ve seen many people make ridiculous decisions daily while traveling that same route. People trailing animals should be approached with extreme caution, not recklessness. I’m glad she’s alive and hope she can find peace in the loss of her dear horse.

  15. DDT68 says:

    the STATE AND/OR COUNTY should install a CAUTION/RED LIGHT there as the COUNTY did at 302/305 HOW MANY YEARS AGO FOR THE SAME TYPE OF INSTANCES??!! They have one at Old Dixie, “WHY” not here? We hope the Mrs. is well after all she will undergo, so sorry for the loss of her horse.

  16. resident says:

    The road would have opened quicker had fhp not called for a different wrecker service when Rogers was already on scene as FCSO called them to the scene then call for another wrecker service from Palatka to get the horse trailer.

  17. cindy says:

    my guess it the armored car driver has driven that same route everyday for quite some time so I am sure he was very familiar with the area and the intersection. All the should of, would of, could of’s aren’t going to change what happened. I feel bad for the woman having been the innocent victim and losing her beloved horse. Thank you Bess for being there to take care of her special horse.

  18. confidential says:

    Thank you Carrie Willmer for your touching message and sweet Valentine send away prayer!!
    She was not just a horse, just like any of our loved pets are. They are our family members that give us companionship and enrich our lives.
    “RIP sweet Valentine, forever in the green celestial pastures of Heaven”

  19. Just a Guy says:

    I would not discount mechanical failure as the cause. Most of the trucks these companies operate have issues with bad breaks and tires, bad A/C, exhaust entering the cab, etc. Any other state with inspections standards would ground most of the fleet as unsafe to be on the road and an issue with employee safety as well as the public.
    Also the industry at large is well know for encouraging employees to speed and violate traffic laws by constantly adding more stops. strict time frames, drive up to 16 hours a route without breaks and still expect one to finish at the same time or the crew gets blamed.
    While this by no means excuses a driver from disregarding regulations, if this was the cause, one must also blame the company for intimadating the crews into this mindset under threat of loosing thier jobs and unfoutunatly leads to tragic circumstances such as this.
    Hopefully, though doubtfully, this will be the catalyst for an investigation and changes to avoid future incidents and my thoughts go out to both Ms. Stevens and Mr. Gomez to make a quick recovery.

    • nameless says:

      A commercial c d l driver is suppose to have his vehicle under control at all times just like all drivers
      It’s plain as day it’s his fault he wasn’t paying attention he will end up paying for his mistake let the fhp investigated the wreck decide!!

  20. Sue says:

    I do not personally know this woman, but my heart goes out to her. I too have horses and can’t imagine the mental anguish she must have not.
    Blessings

  21. Brandi says:

    Bess Wall: It does not say how you came to be involved… but as a horse owner and lover I want to thank you. The injury’s to a human are more important than any animal but if it was me in the hospital I would be more concerned with my horse. Thank you for giving this lady the piece of mind that her horse was taken care of with respect.

  22. taca says:

    Oh my gosh! i feel so bad for the driver to have broken her legs and lose her barrel horse at the same time….
    How old was the horse? How long did she have it?

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