Driver Flicks Cigarette, 6 Horses Burn to Death

Motorist ignites hay in trailer transporting young thoroughbreds
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2011 1:39 AM CDT
Driver Flicks Cig, 6 Horses Burn to Death
The charred hulk of a trailer carrying six horses sits on the side of a North Carolina highway.   (YouTube)

Six racehorses burned to death when a passing driver flicked a still-burning cigarette butt into their trailer as it traveled down a North Carolina highway on Friday night. The hay was ignited, and quickly killed the frantic thoroughbreds on their way to New York's Belmont racetrack. The trailer's driver pulled over when she and her partner spotted smoke, and one of them suffered burns trying to save the animals. The trailer was fully engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.

The 2-year-old horses were being trasported from Florida to begin training at Belmont and make their first races. They belonged to top trainers and Barry Schwarz, a childhood pal of Calvin Klein who co-founded the fashion empire. Police have no leads yet into the identity of the careless driver, reports the Daily Mail. (More Belmont stories.)

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