by Jim Boyle
A simple trip to Anoka Equine in Otsego for a teeth floating turned into quite a bit more when a truck hauling two registered quarter horses was involved in three-vehicle accident Monday, July 15, at the intersection of Highway 169 and School Street.
Trisha Janu, 39, of Zimmerman, was northbound in the right lane of the highway when she collided with a westbound vehicle crossing from Elk Hills Drive to School Street.
The impact of the crash sent her truck and trailer into the median and into another vehicle in the left turn lane of the southbound stretch of highway.
“I don’t know how I managed to eke by that big light pole, but I am grateful that I did,” Janu told the Star News.
Janu told the Minnesota State Patrol the last time she saw the light, it was yellow, according to a Minnesota State Highway Patrol report.
Witnesses reported the westbound motorist had a green light. Janu was cited for failure to obey a traffic control device, according to the state patrol crash report.
Janu said it’s a blessing that everyone involved was able to walk away. That includes her horses, a pair of accomplished barrel racing horses that she and her 11-year-old daughter Josie Janu ride in competition.
Josie won a saddle with Blues and Jazz, the horse furthest to the front of the trailer. The other horse is known as Clyde, a character who will unpack the back of the trailer until he finds his treats if left alone. Both remained calm after the crash happened.
“They are calm,” Janu said. “They really truly are. If you’re never rough with them, they have no reason to panic.”
The aluminum slant load trailer also has padding on all four sides of each compartment for the horses.
“It keeps them real snug,” Janu said. “They just went for little ride down into the ditch. It could have been so much worse.”