A horse owner is suing the estate of a 69-year-old optometrist and a Rolling Hills Estates riding club over the death of her animal, which was struck by the optometrist's car after wandering from its stable and onto a highway.
Nicole Saathoff filed the lawsuit Wednesday against the heirs of Ryan Yonny Koyama, who also died from injuries suffered in the crash. The suit also names the Seahorse Riding Club and its co-owners, Devon Gibson -- who is also a horse trainer -- and David and Allison Hill.
Saathoff is seeking $65,000. A club representative could not be immediately reached.
Koyama's Mercedes hit the plaintiff's horse, Lucerne, near the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive North and Crenshaw Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates about 2 a.m. Sept. 18, 2012, according to the lawsuit.
The California Highway Patrol reported at the time that the horse had left a stable and was running in traffic when Koyama's car hit the animal.
Koyama's car subsequently hit a fence. He was taken to Torrance Memorial Medical Center in critical condition and later died, according to the CHP.
The horse was euthanized at the scene.
Koyama was born in the Gila River War Relocation Center, an internment camp built near Phoenix to house Japanese-Americans during World War II, according to a published obituary.
--City News Service