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Updated: Driver Dies After Striking Horse

Ryan Koyama was driving on Crenshaw Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates.

A man was killed early Tuesday morning after his vehicle struck a horse in Rolling Hills Estates.

Rancho Palos Verdes resident Ryan Y. Koyama, 69, died at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, according to Coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

According to the preliminary investigation, Koyama, an optometrist, was driving a 2003 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL south on Crenshaw Boulevard between Rolling Hills Road and Palos Verdes Drive North when it struck the horse, which had somehow gotten loose from a nearby stable and was running in traffic lanes, the California Highway Patrol said.

The horse flew over the car on impact, and the Mercedes swerved, colliding with the wooden three-rail fence along the road and the chain-link fence surrounding the former landfill site, according to the CHP incident report.

The crash happened shortly after 2 a.m., said Ed Pickett, supervising dispatcher from the Los Angeles County Fire Department. There are no street lights in the immediate vicinity of the collision.

The horse, which suffered multiple broken bones in the collision, was euthanized at the scene by a local veterinarian before CHP officers arrived.

The horse had escaped from Seahorse Riding Club up the street, apparently by jumping the fences, according to initial reports. Seahorse trainer Devon Gibson told the Daily Breeze that the facility's gates were all locked.

"It's horrific," Gibson told Breeze reporter Sandy Mazza. "A human lost its life and a horse was smashed in two. It's a horrific loss of life."

The CHP will conduct the investigation because Crenshaw Boulevard falls under its jurisdiction.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. Follow Palos Verdes Patch on Facebook and Twitter for instant updates.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

Robin Cook September 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Actually Mr Desp Bikers do kill and severly injure horse riders. Incidnets of bikers riding on trails asigned for horses only, spooking the animal, causing the rider to fall and leaving the scene. This is NOT an isolated circumstance.
Simone September 19, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I aggree! Why wasn't that horse looked up in stable? Hope they improve safety standards for humans and animals.It is scary to see this kids on horses crossing intersections on PV Drive North! It is also stupid to ride along the dangerous and busy road on PV. The horse riders put themself and others on risk!!! We will see more accidents happen.
Melody Colbert September 19, 2012 at 09:38 PM
This incident, to my knowledge, is unprecedented in the history of that stable. In my experience, a "loose horse" is almost always due to human carelessness. The truth needs to come out so that proper procedures can be put in place, or facility improvements can be made, to prevent such a catastrophe in the future.
Ruth Sobeck, DVM September 20, 2012 at 03:37 AM
It is dark in that area. There was no moon. There is a very bright marquis sign for the botanical gardens that can make the rest of the area seem even darker, never mind add a distraction. The horse was dark-colored. Add that at that time of night it is very inviting to drive too fast. Most of us would never expect to come across a horse. If it is true that another driver was trying to direct the horse, that could also have distracted the driver. It is just sad, any way you look at it.
Rachellg April 05, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Wow, you are delusional, bikers are hit by cars more often than horses without ANY question! Additionally, if you look at the historical set up of Rolling Hills Estates it was to preserve EQUESTRIAN activities! Not all mountain bikers get the wrath of the equestrian, only those who fly down trails at unreasonable speeds who could potentially collide with horse or human. Be respectful of equestrians and I can assure you more often than not you will get the same returned to you.

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