Last night at 10.30 pm we received another dreaded call. We regret to inform you that Cinnamon, this beautiful ten year old dun mare, passed away from impact with a vehicle, at Coon Bluff horse crossing. She died from a broken neck, so at least she did not suffer for long. While his vehicle is totalled, the driver is ok.
We apologize, as her body is in a visible and awkward location as she could not be pulled farther off the road. Her body will be removed shortly.
Ever since the widening of Bush Hwy and guardrail installations we have seen an enormous increase in horse vehicle collisions. In 2018 the number of horses hit was 15, while in previous years the number was 6 to 7.
Bush Hwy cuts directly through Salt River wild horse habitat with the Salt River on one side and their grazing grounds on the other. Salt River wild horses are protected pursuant to A.R.S. 3-1491.
This is the 5th horse vehicle- collision of 2019. Four horses have died, one is surviving and healing. No drivers were seriously injured. All collisions happened at dark, either at night or early morning.
Our road patrol volunteers left Bush Hwy at 9 PM last night when all was clear. They now feel bad for not staying longer.
May she rest in peace and may we find solutions very soon, to give better warning to drivers on dark Bush Hwy. In addition to the safety features already put in place in 2018, we are suggesting the following cost effective solutions from MCDOT.
2. Flashing lights at the horse crossings to give bright and clear warning to drivers.
3. Streetlights at the horse crossings for better visibility.
4. A 3-way stop sign at CB. (No horse has ever been hit at the 4way stop sign)
5. “No parking” signs at the entrances of horse crossings to prevent confusion when the openings are blocked by cars.
6. Speed feedback signs. ( we currently have one and it works amazingly)
7. More speed enforcement by MCSO in the evenings.
8. Automatic speed ticketing cameras.
9. A lowering of the speed limit at the horse crossings.
However only our number 1. solution would solve this issue permanently: under or overpasses. This option is the most expensive.
With safety improvements of 4 of the horse crossings we could effectively close the other 4 horse crossings.
We have a meeting with MCDOT
on February 12th. We will keep you informed.