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How did horses get on I-280?

Original post made on Dec 29, 2012

Why and how four horses from Webb Ranch got onto Interstate 280 on Saturday, Dec. 29, is unclear. Three of the horses were struck and killed by a car on I-280 north of Alpine Road at around 4:50 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, December 29, 2012, 11:20 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by amazing
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Pretty amazing that a car flipped at highway speeds and no one was seriously hurt.

Are any charges pending against the horse owner?

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Posted by Freda
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

"Are any charges pending against the horse owner?"

May not be the owner's/owners' fault.

Take a look at the map... I don't want to cast aspersions without evidence, so I won't name the business, but it seems pretty obvious a guess that the horses were at a certain ranch and escaped. If so, the owners likely board them there and the responsibility belongs with the ranch.

as a guess....

Pretty terrible time for those drivers, though.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Yes, the majority of horses in the area are boarded, not stabled on horse owner property. This is awful, & it could've been even worse.

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Posted by Local
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Dec 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

For the person not casting isn't obvious to me which of the many ranch/boarding businesses on the north side of 280 the horses would have come from. The property on both sides belongs to Stanford U. PVEC is a bunch of sub-barns and there is at least one if not more additional operations farther up Ansel Lane. "Casting aspersions" seems like a very blaming activity. Could you imagine that someone intended their horses to be killed on the freeway?!?

Too bad it took the CHP an hour to cast the SIG alert - it seems they didn't react in time to prevent continuing tragedy?

That's an area with deer crossings, too, always be alert for large animals along that part of 280. Could be a cow someday...

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Posted by pv resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Dec 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Just for the record they did not come from PVTC! So cast all the aspersions you like!

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Posted by Freda
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2012 at 9:45 am


I didn't "blame" anyone, nor did I "imagine" someone wished harm, note my use of the word "escape".

I was referring to @amazing that thought the owners would be liable. I still doubt that will be the case.

As for Stanford land, any idea how many tenants of Stanford are stables, trainers, etc... You'd need more than a handful of fingers to count.

As for my guess, after looking at the map, I'm glad I didn't say the name, the one I was guessing is on the south side of 280, with the long lease. I'm more familiar with the south side stables; I have no idea which is the most obvious (ie.. closest) choice on the north side.

My error stems from being a north peninsula gal, I still think of 280 as north/south!

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 30, 2012 at 10:31 am

The news reported this morning that they got loose from Webb Ranch. Someone thought they had latched a gate, but hadn't. Terrible.

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Posted by Local
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Dec 30, 2012 at 10:54 am

Mea culpa -- I was reacting defensively in protection of the ranch I rode at as a kid (WR) which is on the "south" side of 280. From what I know, all their horses are also on the opposite side of the creek from the 280 north on- ramp. So I didn't imagine that they'd get up to the north side of the freeway...but apparently they did. The SJ Mercury News reports that they wandered a mile from the corral where a gate was left loose. I'm feeling very bad for the ranch and all the kids who rode those horses in lessons. There are going to be a lot of sad kids as well as us adult horse lovers. Sorry for my reactivity in earlier post.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I'm not feeling as bad for the ranch owners & kids who rode the horses as I'm feeling for the horses themselves & the poor people who hit them. It's really awful.

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Posted by Horse Person
a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Glad no human lives were lost and very sad for the loss of the horses. Surprised anyone would blame the horse owners. Hazards like deer (and, in the past, horses and cattle and even pedestrians and stalled cars) appear on 280. I try not to drive in the shoulder lane, especially at night, to give myself more room to maneuver should a deer bound into the roadway. Speed and over driving the reach of headlights are likely culprits, so please don't blame the poor horses and their owners. Many folks use 280 as a speedway! What are they going to do if they hit a deer - sue the deer?

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Posted by PV Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jan 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I am a long time Woodside and Portola Valley Resident. For the past 15 years I have had reason to be on the 280 between the hours of 4:30-6:30am and I can tell you not many maintain the speed limit. It is as though drivers think that few drivers on the highway make it the Autobahn! They should treat it as though they are driving in icy conditions - SLOW DOWN. The speed limit is set as the safe speed under ideal conditions, which includes daylight, anything less than ideal calls for slower speeds. Perhaps if the CHP would spend more time in the early hours monitoring traffic we would have less gridlock that begins with wildlife (or relatively recently domesticated animals) being hit and killed.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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