MSP: Man, horse killed, trooper injured in Mecosta Co. crash

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AUSTIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man and his horse were killed after being struck by a car in Mecosta County.

It happened around 9:30 a.m. Sunday on 8 Mile Road near 170th Avenue in Austin Township, southeast of Big Rapids.

The Michigan State Police said a trooper was called for a report of a horse running loose in the area. The trooper caught the horse and contacted its owner, an 85-year-old Stanwood man.

The owner came to the scene and began leading the horse home when the driver of a westbound vehicle lost control, crossed the center line and hit the man and horse. After hitting them, the vehicle struck the trooper’s cruiser, according to an MSP news release.

The man and horse were killed. He was identified as 85-year-old Robert Johnston, the release said.

The trooper was taken to the hospital then later released.

The driver, a 43-year-old Mount Pleasant woman, was not injured in the crash.

The crash remains under investigation.

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