CANAAN — After a 4-year-old Appaloosa mare was struck by a vehicle and dragged to death Wednesday morning on Route 23, the horse must have heard her owner’s voice as she lay dying.

“When I came down to the road was when Lucy passed away,” Sierra Miner, the horse’s owner, said Thursday. “I didn’t even get to say good-bye. That hurt. But honestly, she waited until she heard my voice yelling down the road and that’s when I think she gave up and knew we were all coming to her.”

Miner, 21, says the death of her horse, Lucy, near her home Wednesday morning may have started out as an accident, but turned into torture.

The horse, tethered at the end of a driveway, was struck by a vehicle as it drove onto Miner’s yard on Hubbard Road and was dragged nearly a half-mile, gutting the animal and leaving a trail of blood on nearby Route 23, she said.

“I’m devastated — I had to lose my best friend yesterday,” Miner said.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said a Maine State Police trooper is investigating and is searching for a tan or gold, full-sized pickup truck that was seen by a neighbor on the road at about the time the horse was struck. There were no witnesses to the crash.

McCausland said if the truck was involved it likely will have front-end damage. He said any charges against the driver would have to be determined once police and the district attorney’s office have all the facts.

Trooper Jill Monahan, who is investigating the incident, confirmed that the horse was struck in Miner’s yard and was dragged down the road after it fell. She said there were hoof prints in the road indicating that the horse was running at one point before falling and being dragged. Monahan said there was blood spatter at the scene of impact in the Miner’s yard and along Hubbard Road to Route 23.

The carcass of the horse was located on Route 23 still attached to a rope, a halter and a concrete block, the trooper said.

Miner, who works as a server at Ruby Tuesday’s in Waterville, said she received the horse as a gift about a year ago this summer. Miner said she had tied the horse to cinder blocks at the end of her driveway while she took a shower. When she got out of the shower she found her phone was “blowing up” with calls telling her that the horse was dead on Route 23.

When Miner got the calls, she “started running in disbelief — I didn’t believe it at all — there was no way that my horse was dead.”

“At first I didn’t see all the blood on the road because I was in a panic running to her. I get to the main road and I just see my horse’s insides dragged down the road. There was blood on my road and blood on the main road.”

The horse weighed about 1,000 pounds and stood just over 15 hands, or about 5 feet.

“I really think it might have been an accident at first,” she said. “It looks like they swerved into my front yard, and the blocks got caught somehow. You could see how my horse tried to get away. She dug her back hooves trying to fight. I know that she was dragged.”

Miner, along with her sister Liberty, 13, and cousin Tegan, 17, were out by the roadside Thursday morning with colorful, handmade signs expressing their love for Lucy.

“We’re going to put the signs up, so hopefully whoever did it, will see that this horse meant something to all of us,” Miner said. “Lucy was my best friend. She was like my kid. She was just my world. All I worried about was taking care of her.”

Hubbard Road is a dead end, with about 10 seasonal camps and homes. The mile-long dirt road curves sharply just before the Miner property. Miner said the vehicle must have swerved to where Lucy was grazing and hit her from behind.

Miner said she has had an enormous show of sympathy and support with messages, texts and passers-by offering their condolences, even people she doesn’t know. Thursday afternoon, a logging trucker went past, then backed up in his truck to tell Miner how sorry he was for her losing her best friend.

“I think it’s disgusting that somebody would do something like that,” Jeff Lindsey, of Albion, said from the cab of his truck. “It’s deplorable. You feel a hole that can’t be replaced.”

Miner said her horse was “murdered, tortured.”

“I call it torture because not only did they hit her, she struggled, she fought,” Miner said. “They didn’t just hit her and leave her. They hit her and she got caught and they dragged her. She fought so hard her back hooves split. They were almost gone. She fought the whole time.”

Miner said Lucy was dragged from her yard across the road onto her grandparents’ property, breaking their mailbox, then back onto the road and finally to Route 23, where the blood trail ends a half mile away.

“They just kept going. There were no braking marks. It was just go — go, go, go,” she said.

Miner said a neighbor with a backhoe moved Lucy from Route 23 and opened a grave for the horse behind Miner’s grandparents home. A photo taken by Miner’s aunt and posted on Facebook shows Miner hugging the deceased Lucy, covered in her favorite blanket, her head wrapped in Miner’s favorite flannel.

No one has come forward to claim responsibility for the incident. Police asked that anyone with information about the incident should call state police in Augusta at 624-7076.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for expenses.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow


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