Motorcyclist dies in collision with horse

June started out on a tragic note in Fillmore County with a fatality when a motorcycle struck a horse west of Mabel Friday morning.

The Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office emergency communications center received a 911 call Friday, June 1, at 11:31 a.m. of an accident on Highway 44 west of Mabel and east of the junction with Highway 52.

A single motorcyclist eastbound on Highway 44 struck a horse that was in the east-bound lane of the highway, according to Fillmore County Sheriff Tom Kaase. The victim, Timothy Holt, 60, of Decorah, was driving a 2000 model Harley Davidson.

The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The horse, which had been grazing in the south ditch and broke free of its chain, also died in the accident, according to Kaase. Levi Yoder of Mabel owned the horse.

The rural highway has rolling hills near the scene of the accident. Holt tried to brake and swerve to avoid the horse, noted the State Patrol.

Fillmore County sheriff’s deputies, Minnesota State Patrol, Iowa State Patrol, Mabel Fire and Mabel Ambulance all responded. The fatal accident is being investigated by the Minnesota State Patrol.

During this busy motorist season, the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office asks all motorists to drive with care. Additionally, motorcyclists should wear protective clothing and, most importantly, helmets, said Kaase.