Authorities search for owner of horse killed on freeway

(Updated 12:10 p.m.) A horse struck and killed Wednesday along Interstate 5 has been removed from the roadside.

State transportation officials continue to seek the owner of a white horse that died after it was struck by a semitruck Wednesday on a bridge on northbound Interstate 5 near Phoenix.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has received numerous tips on possible owners and is following up on those, officials said.

The horse's body, removed from the side of Interstate 5 near Milepost 23, is being stored at an ODOT storage building.

"We know it's an eyesore, but we don't want to cover it with dirt or send it to the tallow plant in case the owner wants to bury it,"ODOT transportation manager Everett Carroll said this morning before the horse was moved.

State transportation officials were concentrating manpower today on keeping the interstate open at the Siskiyou Pass for holiday travelers, said ODOT spokesman Jared Castle.

"For a lot of folks, it's a sensitive thing," Castle said, "but the horse isn't a hazard to the traveling public."

The horse was wearing horseshoes and a bridle when it was struck just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Law enforcement had to put the animal down because it was suffering, Carroll said. Officers dragged the horse to the side of the road in hopes the owner would claim it. Calls to ranchers in the area yielded no information as to whom the horse might belong, Carroll said.

— Paris Achen

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