Car accident involving horse kills two and injures three

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WIGGINS, Colo. – A car accident involving a horse on I-76 in northeastern Colorado killed  two and injured three on Sunday according to Colorado State Patrol troopers.

At about 9:30 p.m. on eastbound I-76 near Wiggins a riderless horse was in the road.

Police report the first vehicle to collide with the horse was a 2005 Dodge Caravan which came to a stop on the eastbound shoulder after impact.

The Dodge Caravan was driven by 67-year-old Christopher Ricketts of Nashville, Michigan. Ricketts, who suffered minor injuries, was wearing his seatbelt and survived the accident.

His wife, 66-year-old Carol Ricketts, died as a result of the collision.

The second vehicle to hit the horse was a Chevy Venture van, which slid into the left lane and rolled onto the driver’s side.

The driver of that vehicle, 71-year-old Walter Ruthenberg of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio also died at the scene. Ruthenberg was not wearing a seatbelt according to Colorado State Patrol investigators.

The van was then struck by an Audi sedan, driven by 22-year-old Anthony Castillo of Wray, Colorado. Police say the impact pushed the van back onto its wheels and the Audi went off the road, busting through a barbed wire fence and coming to rest in a field.

Castillo was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered serious injuries. His passenger, 66-year-old James Castillo of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, who was wearing a seatbelt, had minor injuries.

The horse did not survive the collisions. It had been with a rider in the Wiggins area prior to the accident. Investigators are still trying to discover how the two became separated.

Eastbound I-76 was closed for about eight hours as officials investigated the scene.

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