Letter: Wife of accident victim recalls event, asks questions

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 04:48 PM

Editor,

I am writing regarding headlines in The Mountain Press dated June 5, 2014, “Man dies after collision with horse.”

I want to clarify that, this was not just a “man.”

John Mahoney was my day by day, side by side companion, my precious everything for all of our wonderful, glorious years. We loved the same shows, the same trips we took across the nation, the same friends and our loving family of his two sons and my 3 daughters who considered him their “dad.”

I almost lost my own life in this “horse collision.” If it were not for my children, I wish I had because living without my love is unbearable. We loved being in our dream home here in Gatlinburg where we planned many years to retire. We were the love of each other’s lives, we were the comforting smiles across the room, the strong arms that wrapped each other tightly as we did the morning of the accident as we were heading to LeConte Hospital to see doctor for stomach pains. He was not just a man, John was my life.

My wonderful daughter Darlene from Louisiana left her family for a month to care for me console me as she too writhes in pain as do the rest of our children, Lori , Dawn, Jay and Matt and granddaughter Ashley.

The saddest part is my youngest, totally disabled daughter, due to an auto accident, living in an assisted living facility in Daytona Beach has not had the arms of family around her yet to console her for the loss of her “dad” because I’ve been unable to get there. My husband, her love, her “dad” is no longer here to tease her to make her laugh. She loved him playing the part of her chauffeur in exchange of her taking him to dinner.

News has been all about a “horse being killed,” a “collision with a horse.”

News stories go that in early morning fog we collided with a horse. This horse ran straight into the path of our car, landed on top of the car, peeled the top of the roof back like a sardine can, horse landed partially in the car per the flesh and hair still evident in the vehicle.

This was no small car, it was a 2011 Cadillac DTS a big car we purposely purchased for safety sake as we traveled thousands of miles a year.

Questions we have:

1. Why, when these horses have in the past gotten loose,where they not secured so it could not happen again?

2. Why, if officers were out there corralling the horses back in the ranch at 2 or so in the morning, were there not flashing warning signs to oncoming traffic to protect something like this from happening?

3. Why did the air bags not deploy? In a picture we have, it clearly shows one of the sensors being hit and missing?

Why? Why? Why?

Vivian Madison Mahoney

Gatlinburg