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Oklahoma vet says horses killed and injured in wreck were properly documented

State authorities say there appears to be nothing illegal about the way 30 horses were being transported when a tractor-trailer driver apparently fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle. Eleven horses died.

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON Modified: May 20, 2010 at 8:28 am •  Published: May 20, 2010
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The state veterinarian described the turnpike wreck that ended in the deaths of 11 horses Tuesday as horrendous but said it doesn’t appear the horse owner or trucking company did anything illegal.

"Sometimes horrific things like that happen, but it doesn’t mean someone was doing something wrong,” State Veterinarian Becky Brewer said.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the wreck happened about 6 a.m. Tuesday on the Turner Turnpike near the Interstate 35 exit when the driver apparently fell asleep.

Troopers issued a reckless driving citation to the driver, Christopher Dobbin, 28, of Missouri, Capt. Chris West said.

"He told the trooper he was going to the Oklahoma City stockyards,” West said.

The driver told troopers he was hauling 30 horses.

"Our biggest concerns were that the horses that need to be tended to were tended to, and the ones that needed to be euthanized were euthanized,” Brewer said. "It went as well as it could have possibly gone considering the circumstances.”

Oklahoma City Animal Control officers issued 19 citations to Dobbins for failure to maintain livestock, but Oklahoma City Animal Shelter Manager Catherine English said no tickets should have been issued, and there are no plans to process the tickets.