Driver cited in Three Angels Farms horse trailer collapse - WSMV Channel 4

Driver cited in Three Angels Farms horse trailer collapse

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The Tennessee Highway Patrol has cited the driver of a fully loaded horse trailer that collapsed while traveling along I-440 this week in south Nashville.

The incident, which was reported Tuesday at around noon, occurred when the trailer belonging to Three Angels Farms, of Lebanon, carrying 37 horses structurally failed by buckling in the center.

One of the horses was euthanized due to its injuries, and the others were loaded onto a different trailer.

"Seeing the horses here, given the traumatic experience of the trailer collapsing or bowing in the middle, it's sad," said Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron.

Authorities identified the driver as Scott York, 42, of Smith Grove, KY. York was not hurt, and he managed to pull the trailer onto the shoulder of the highway.

York was cited Thursday for operating a commercial vehicle without a commercial driver license, no commercial tag, log book violation, brake violation, defective tire and unsafe operations.

No other vehicles are believed to be involved in the wreck, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will continue to investigate the incident.

Three Angels Farms has a history of maintenance violations, a review of federal records shows.

In January, a livestock trailer from Three Angels Farms was loaded with 38 horses when it crashed near mile marker 182 in Williamson County.

The truck's driver suffered minor injuries in the crash after authorities said he likely fell asleep at the wheel. Three of the horses were killed, and two were seriously injured in that wreck.

In both wrecks, the THP confirmed the destination was Presidio, TX. Presidio is a border town where horses are kept in pens until they're slaughtered in Mexican meat packing plants.

After the January wreck, the Channel 4 I-Team uncovered documents that showed four injured horses from Three Angels Farm were rejected by Mexican veterinarians at the border, just two days after the Three Angels Farm trailer wrecked on the interstate in Tennessee.

The owner of Three Angels Farm, Dorian Ayache, told reporters at the time that the surviving horses were headed to a farm in Oklahoma after the accident.

However, documents on file in Mexico show 34 horses were sold in Mexico to Inter Meats, an exporter that frequently ships horse meat to Belgium. According to an invoice, Ayache sold the horses for 37 cents per pound for a total of $11,100.

Three Angels Farms doesn't have an impressive highway safety record. Prior to Tuesday's incident, the company has been cited for 64 maintenance violations in two years, according to federal reports. The problems were so serious that, more than half the time, inspectors took the trucks off the road.

The violations included worn tires, a frame that was cracked, inadequate brakes, broken turn signals, an exhaust leak, windshield wipers that didn't work, defective lights and inoperative turn signals.

Authorities also cited drivers for a variety of violations, including 10 violations for fatigued driving, seven violations for driving more than 14 hours, falsified driver reports, expired health certificates and talking on a mobile phone behind the wheel.

Veterinarians examined the surviving horses in Tuesday's wreck, and they were then transported back to Lebanon.

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SIDEBAR - Three Angels Horse Farm

Previous coverage on Three Angels Farm, which is alleged to be involved in the horse slaughter industry.

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