PALM CITY, Fla. - Less than a week after a horse was thrown from its trailer following a crash on the interstate, a fundraiser is being organized to help pay for the damaged truck and trailer and help the horse recover.
The 18-year-old horse, Chevy, is taking up a temporary residence at Dreamland Farm in Palm City, where a veterinarian is visiting him daily.
“He has been an awesome patient,” said Veterinarian Alexis Torre, with Harbor Ridge Equine.
Chevy has staples on his head and on one of his back legs where a tendon ripped through his skin.
“This tendon up here was exposed. The bone on the leg was exposed,” Torre explained.
He has broken teeth and scrapes around his body. But, his calm temperament makes it easier for Torre to give him the best chance of making a good recovery. Right now, the priority is reducing the risk of life-threatening infections.
“He’s handling it all really well,” Torre said. “The horse is really, really lucky."
His owner, 16-year-old Jamie Krabec, says she is just grateful he is alive.
Krabec said she, her mother, and two friends were taking Chevy to a horse show in Melbourne last weekend, driving during the early morning hours.
Krabec’s mother was driving their truck and trailer, while two of Krabec’s friends, ages 15 and 16, were riding with them.
“We had one more exit to go,” Krabec described.
That is when she said another driver, for an unknown reason, clipped the side of the horse trailer. The driver stayed on scene.
"I was asleep, and then we started to spin and then we hit a telephone pole and flipped,” Krabec described. “I thought I was dying.”
Miraculously, she said, no one was seriously hurt.
“I have cuts on my head, under my hair. My friend has whiplash in her back. Another one has a concussion, but nothing serious,” Krabec said.
Once their truck and trailer came to a rest, Krabec said her mother raced to check on her friends.
“My seatbelt I was able to undo. But, she had to cut everybody else out.”
Krabec was already out and chasing Chevy. He was thrown from his trailer during the crash. She said she chased him for a few hundred yards.
“I was afraid he wasn’t going to make it. Because I saw the tendon popping out of his back leg. Basically, I just started crying. Immediately crying.”
Now, Krabec’s friends and family want to give Chevy the best chance to make a full recovery, but it will not be cheap to pay for his care and replace their truck and trailer.
“It’s a lot of money to think about,” Krabec said.
But, they’re hopeful for the community’s help to have one less thing to worry about, while they focus on moving past the traumatic crash.
“I’ve never driven a truck before, so now it’s just going to be in the back on my mind,” Krabec said.
“It’s all of our worst fear. We all drive trailers, we all drive horses. You just try not to think about it,” Torre said.
How you can help:
There will be a fundraiser for Chevy and the Krabec family Saturday, June 1 from 9 a.m. to noon at Palm City Farms Produce.
Anyone can drop off donations, or you can contact Harbor Ridge Equine directly to make a donation at 561-744-9026.
The Treasure Coast Pony Club is hosting the fundraiser.
They welcome anyone to bring by items to sell in a garage sale. There will also be pony rides.