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Antwerp man killed when Volkswagen strikes two horses in road

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PHILADELPHIA — Jacob T. Tyler was driving to work on a quiet country road lined with farms when his Volkswagen Jetta hit two stray horses in a predawn crash Monday that took his life.

A passerby noticed the accident on County Route 20 in the town of Philadelphia at 4:29 a.m. and called 911. Mr. Tyler suffered severe head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

He lived at 33775 County Route 194, Antwerp, with his wife, Cynthia P.

The two horses, also killed in the crash, had wandered from a farm about 100 yards away. They belonged to Benjamin Wagler, 31823 County Route 20.

Two members of the Wagler family said the horses had gotten loose from the barn where they were kept at night, but the men didn’t know exactly how the animals were able to get out.

Tawnya Richelieu, who lives across the street from the accident scene, said she saw two police cars and a firetruck, as well as a tow truck pulling Mr. Tyler’s car from the snowbank where it ended up on the west shoulder of the road.

By the time Ms. Richelieu left for work at 7:18, the scene was cleared and the road reopened. She said a bulldozer was called in to dispose of the animals and debris.

But remnants were still visible Monday afternoon. Parts of the car, including the front bumper, were lying in the snowbank.

Brandon K. Anderson, who lives with Ms. Richelieu at 31714 County Route 20, said that there are several Amish farms on the road, but that this was the first time either of the two had seen such an accident.

The Waglers “are excellent neighbors,” Ms. Richelieu said. “It’s really sad.”

The residents said the area is extremely dark at night.

State police, Indian River Ambulance, Philadelphia Fire Department and Philadelphia Department of Public Works were dispatched to the scene.

Police said no charges are expected.

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