Imagine this … it was a dark and stormy night — got your attention?
You are travelling down busy Highway 99 at 70 to 80 km/h when suddenly appearing before you is a herd of horses. You have to swerve into oncoming traffic or skid wildly out of control on a slippery road to avoid the inevitable collision with a poor horse, all while trying to avoid rolling into the six-foot-deep ditch bordering each side of the Highway.
This may seem unlikely but it is the truth. Why does Highway 99 between Mount Currie and Pemberton become a death trap every year from Fall to Spring? Will it be this year that someone is killed or severely injured? How many more horses have to be slaughtered?
Every fall like clockwork the horses are freed from somewhere and allowed to roam the highway. Suddenly the highway becomes a nightmare endangering all who travel that section.
Friday morning I witnessed the herd of horses climbing out of the ditch at the Industrial Park right in front of a pickup truck, fortunately for all it was daylight and the pickup truck was able to stop in time. It is a roll of the dice travelling this section of the highway, especially when it is dark and foggy.
Unfair to the unsuspecting drivers and definitely unfair to those poor horses who are just foraging for food. Here we go again. Who is responsible?
Len and Patty Ritchie
P.S. Since writing this letter to the editor regarding horses on the highway in Pemberton, this morning two horses were hit by a C.N. train. The horses went up on to the tracks after the scout vehicle had passed. The train engineer, assumed the track was clear and could not stop in time. The horses were badly injured and the RCMP had to kill one of them many hours later. This is too horrific for words and has to stop.
Who's horses are they? Why is the owner not responsible? Are there no laws preventing abandonment of horses? What about the SPCA? Are we left to assume this carnage is just an annual event of which the authorities are aware but choose to do nothing about?