Mom and daughter on horseback hit by car in Santa Clarita; 2 horses killed

A woman and her daughter are recovering after a driver crashed into them while they were crossing a Santa Clarita road on horseback earlier this week. The crash also killed their horses.

"He had to have seen us," Marcela De Vivo repeated again and again from her hospital room bed. She suffered a shattered knee and other injuries, after the Monday evening crash. The vehicle also hit Marcela’s 14-year-old daughter, Isabelle, who was also on horseback, with four other riders and their horses.

The crash happened around 8:30 p.m. The group was at the horse crossing at Sand Canyon and Iron Canyon roads in Santa Clarita, commonly used by riders in the area. The riders insisted there was plenty of light when they started to cross, and noticed a Nissan about half a mile away, on Sand Canyon. Surprised that the driver didn’t seem to slow down, the riders began to signal and wave, as they tried to rush the horses through. "He didn’t slow down, even try to avoid us" said both Marcela and Isabelle.

(KNN News)

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The vehicle hit the horses head on. Marcela’s died at the scene, Isabelle’s had to be euthanized later because of its injuries. The riders and residents at the homes on the corner say the driver tried to flee, but they stopped him, until investigators arrived, however the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said they have no evidence that the driver tried to get away.

The intersection was closed late into the night, with Marcela and her daughter both transported to the hospital, where the mother remains. She’s already had one surgery and expects another one, to repair the badly shattered knee, but it’s the loss of her horses that brings tears to her eyes. "To see them die like that… I can never take that image off my mind," Marcella said.

Isabelle’s injuries were minor, but she was also emotionally devastated. "We’ve done the same crossing so many times, why didn’t he stop," she repeated again and again.

Investigators say the driver did not seem to be intoxicated, and there were no obvious signs of speeding, so they did not arrest him, but maintain they are still investigating. 

A GoFundMe account has been created to help cover medical costs.