AUSTIN TOWNSHIP, MI – In a tragic set of events, an 85-year-old man and his horse where killed when a woman lost control of her vehicle in Mecosta County on Sunday, February 16th, 2020.
The Michigan State Police (MSP) Mt. Pleasant Post is investigating a car vs. pedestrian, fatal crash that occurred on February 16, 2020, at approximately 9:39am. The crash also involved an on-duty trooper, who was assisting in the area.
A trooper from the MSP Mount Pleasant Post was assisting an 85-year-old Stanwood man with getting a horse back to the man’s residence on 8 Mile Rd east of 170 th Ave within Mecosta County’s Austin Twp.
The trooper was dispatched to the area of 8 Mile Rd near 170 th Ave for a reported horse running loose. The horse was captured by the trooper at which time the owner was identified and contacted by citizens passing by. The owner of the horse then came to the scene and took possession of his horse and began to lead the horse home.
As the trooper was in the process of assisting the citizen in getting his horse back home, preliminary investigation shows that passenger car, driven by a 43-year-old Mt. Pleasant woman traveling west on 8 Mile Rd. lost control of her vehicle, crossed the centerline, and struck the man and his horse on the side of eastbound 8 Mile Rd. After striking the man and horse, the vehicle then struck the patrol vehicle occupied by the trooper. As a result of the crash, the Stanwood man and his horse received fatal injuries.
The trooper was medically treated and released for injuries he sustained in this crash. The Mt. Pleasant woman was not injured in the crash, which remains under investigation.
Troopers were assisted on the scene by Mecosta Fire and Rescue and the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department.
The deceased was identified as 85-year-old Robert Johnston of Stanwood.