August 13, 2013

Suit filed in collision between horse, car

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A collision in Windsor two years ago between a spooked horse that had been tied to a trampoline and a Searsport woman's vehicle is the subject of a lawsuit filed recently in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Chayann Colby of Searsport is suing Derek P. Granquist, claiming the farmer's negligence led to the injuries she suffered in that crash on Route 32, also known as Ridge Road, near Granquist's farm on Oct. 7, 2011.

Colby's attorneys, Walter McKee and Matthew Morgan, filed the civil complaint in June, but recently sought to amend it by adding Granquist's wife, Cheryl Granquist, as a defendant.

The suit alleges that the horse was confined negligently by being tied to a trampoline frame.

"This collision occurred between plaintiff and a horse that ran into her lane of travel after escaping confinement," the complaint states.

Colby, now 30, suffered neck, back and shoulder injuries as well as severe, debilitating headaches, McKee said Monday. He also said some of the pain has lessened over the months since the accident.

Attorney Paul S. Douglass, who represents Derek Granquist, 51, said the horse, which had been purchased by an adult daughter of the Granquist's less than a year prior to the accident, was severely injured.

"My client put it out of its misery when he arrived on the scene," Douglass said.

Douglass said Granquist's wife was taking two horses out to exercise them, and tethered one horse temporarily to a trampoline frame, a large circular metal structure, while she assisted another daughter.

"Something - we don't know what - spooked the horse in question," Douglass said. "It tried to get away and was able to disassemble the frame. It ran off with a part of the metal tubing still attached to its lead."

The accident report by Maine State Trooper Jason Madore says Colby was taken by Augusta Rescue to a hospital after she complained of chest and shoulder pain. The report also says she had three children as passengers in her 2003 Toyota, but does not indicate they were injured.

Colby was northbound on Route 32 and "tried to avoid the crash, but due to the close proximity of where the vehicle was on the roadway to where the horse was running across, the crash was not avoidable," Madore wrote.

In his response to the original complaint, Douglass denied nearly all the allegations by Colby.

The complaint has been assigned to Justice John Nivison.

Douglass has yet to respond to the motion to amend the complaint.

 

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

badams@centralmaine.com

 

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