Walking Horse community mourns loss of well-known trainer - WSMV News 4

Walking Horse community mourns loss of well-known trainer

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Authorities say rain could be to blame for a deadly crash that took the life of a well-known Tennessee Walking Horse trainer from Murfreesboro.

Gallatin County sheriff deputies responded to a crash around 8:30 a.m. Sunday along Interstate 71 in northern Kentucky.

Police say that the truck, driven by 51-year-old Jeffrey Givens of Murfreesboro, was traveling southbound in the left-hand lane when the accident occurred. Authorities say the vehicle and the horse trailer it was hauling dipped off the left side of the roadway.

Officers say that the truck and trailer came back onto the roadway and jack-knifed before striking the guardrail on the right side of the road. The truck overturned and came to rest on its top.

Police say that Givens was trapped in the truck and pronounced dead at the scene.

His passenger, 53-year-old Tim Taylor of La Vergne, TN, was also trapped and had to be mechanically removed from the vehicle. Police say he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

"We just went to sliding and hydroplaning, hit that guardrail and went over that bank," Taylor said. "I was awake when it started happening, but I blacked out. And then when the truck stopped, I woke up, and they started cutting me out."

Three horses that were in the trailer were also killed in the crash.

Both Givens and Taylor were wearing their seatbelts.

Taylor said he and his long-time friend and co-worker, Givens, were on their way back to Tennessee from a Walking Horse show in Jackson, OH.

"It was a little light show, but we did good," Taylor said.

Taylor suffered a punctured lung, broken rib and broken bones in his shoulder. He's in constant pain.

"It's a miracle I made it out," he said.

Taylor's aunt, retired Meherry Hospital nurse Thelma Franklin got the call Sunday morning from doctors at University of Cincinnati Medical Center that Givens had died and Taylor was injured.

"I can't do anything but throw my hands up and praise God that he come out safely," Franklin said.

Family and friends say Givens never met a stranger and would do for others before he did for himself.

"It's going to be a big loss," Taylor said.

During a telephone interview, Givens' wife said their family and the Walking Horse community has lost a great man.

Visitation for Givens will be Thursday, Oct. 11, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home, at 820 S. Church St., Murfreesboro.

A chapel service will be held at that same location Friday at 2 p.m.

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