Local News

Tossed cigarette likely sparked trailer fire that killed six horses

Posted April 15, 2011
Updated April 16, 2011

— A cigarette tossed by a passing driver likely sparked a fire in a horse trailer on Interstate 95 that killed six thoroughbreds Friday night, according to the Nash County Sheriff's Office.

The truck was northbound on I-95 south of Rocky Mount, when a camera showed the driver that smoke was coming from the horses' stalls in the trailer, state troopers said. 

The driver woke up a back-up driver in the cab, and they tried to put out the fire, but it quickly got out of control. 

One of the drivers suffered burns while trying to save the horses, but they all died.

Troopers said a discarded cigarette from a passing vehicle likely flew into one of the partially open stalls, setting fire to the hay, troopers said. 

The vehicle was transporting the horses from Florida to New York. 

I-95 was closed after the fire, causing traffic to back up for miles.


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  • thiszippoohshot Apr 19, 2011

    this saddens me as much as it sickens me. as a horse owner i would be FURIOUS. something as simple as not littering could have save these beautiful animals. now this is one more thing to worry about pulling a trailer.

  • johndeergirl1989 Apr 18, 2011

    wow that is so sad horses are such beautiful animals they 6 had to die bc someone has a bad habit that is going to kill them too in the end of things hope you can live with yourself

  • PokeyGirl Apr 18, 2011

    It's sickening. The world outside your car is not a big ashtray. Use the one in your car. Those beautiful horses died a horrible death as a result of one person's laziness.

  • carrboroyouth Apr 18, 2011

    Breaks my heart.

  • lakeyk1 Apr 18, 2011

    Automobiles come equiped with a thing called "an ashtray", please feel free to USE IT! Stop throwing the nasty cigerettes onto the highways, private streets, parking lots, malls....it is such a nasty appearance. This particular instance caused a horrible loss of these beautiful animals lives and a monetary loss to the owner. Smokers please stop throwing cigerettes in the wind...it is so dangerous. lakeyk1

  • charmed Apr 18, 2011

    Makes me sick to my stomach. For all the people that throw cigarettes out of your window (you know who you are) please stop NOW. I can't even image the horror the horses and the drivers went threw.