SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. -- Animal shelter workers are mourning the loss of Sailor, a horse injured in a crash on Interstate 95 earlier this month, who had to be euthanized after he "took a turn for the worst."
Sussex County Animal Services officials wrote that Sailor was taken back to Woodside Equine Clinic Friday morning. Veterinarians then discovered an infection had entered the bone from where the animal's leg had abscessed.
"He would not of had a good quality of life if we had continued his treatment," Sussex County Animal Services officials wrote. "So we all had to make the heart wrenching and crushing decision to let him go peacefully."
Sailor was injured in a fiery wreck on I-95 that killed his owner and three other horses earlier this month in Sussex County.
State police said a 77-year-old man driving a camper pulling a horse trailer was headed north when he ran off the interstate. The vehicle truck hit a tree, then struck another tree, before catching the truck and trailer on fire. Both vehicles were fully engulfed by fire, according to troopers.
Sussex County Animal Care and Services praised the staff at Woodside Equine Clinic as well as "each and everyone of you that has prayed, donated and supported us and Sailor through it all."
The shelter also thanked Richmond Animal Care and Control and the Team Tommie Fund, which covered the cost of Sailor's emergency care and subsequent surgeries on his jaw.
"He will forever be in our hearts and will never be forgotten," Sussex County Animal Services officials wrote.
CBS 6 Senior Reporter Wayne Covil had spent Friday morning meeting Sailor, interviewing Sussex Animal Services staffers about their commitment to the horse and talking to Mark Talbott, the man who rescued him.
"Unfortunately an hour before my story would air, I learned Sailor had to be put down," Wayne posted on Facebook."Sussex Animal Services can still use monetary support, if you’d like to honor Sailor's memory."