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Family’s horse dies, but saves four teens

Out-of-control SUV hits horse, causing it to miss tree, stop in pasture
By: Martha Garcia, Gold Country News Service
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A Loomis family has lost their horse, but their grief is softened by the fact that his death may have prevented serious injury to four teenagers. According to the Dietz family, at about 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 as "Cal" grazed in the pasture facing Val Verde Road, Scott Dietz, 17, sat on the porch with his grandmother, Betty Wilson. That’s when Scott witnessed the accident that led to the horse’s death. “I heard screeching on the road, looked out … and a car went through our fence, got airborne, and hit the left hind leg of our horse,” sending the horse into the air, Scott said. The car “then slid down about 60 to 70 feet through our pasture. It missed the pond by a foot … and stopped a foot before our other fence,” he said. Officer David Martinez, of the California Highway Patrol, confirmed the accident occurred on Val Verde Road, north of Rasmussen Road. Martinez said a female juvenile, from Roseville, was driving the 2004 green Toyota Highlander, lost control, and took out about 25 feet of fence. He said there were no injuries to the occupants, and the vehicle received moderate right-front damage. Scott said he saw three passengers in the SUV, and that the students were headed for the homecoming dance at Del Oro High School. Scott is a Placer High junior. According to Cindy Dietz, Scott’s mother, the 25-year-old horse suffered blunt force trauma to its hip and was treated at Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic. Cal was put down on Nov. 9. “The horse took the full brunt of the accident. He deflected the car away from the tree. It was a total miracle none of the kids were hurt,” she said. Dietz said people drive too fast on Val Verde Road. “There’s no forgiveness on that road,” she said. The Dietz family acquired Cal from a friend three years ago. “He always hung out at that corner of the pasture because people would come by and pet him. He was very sweet,” Dietz said. The staff at Loomis Basin Vet fell in love with Cal. “They said he was the best patient,” she said. Scott said he was probably the one in the family who rode Cal the most and will miss taking him to Folsom Lake. He will no longer be able to join his friend Scott Westlake in trailering their horses to Folsom and riding on trails around the lake.