Driver charged after horse falls out of trailer on Highway 401

Ontario Provincial Police charged a driver after a horse fell out of a livestock trailer while being transported along Highway 401 on Friday. 

Police were called to the highway near Prescott, Ont., Friday afternoon and found the injured animal lying on the roadway, the OPP said in a media release. 

Motorists got out their vehicles to assist the horse while traffic was stopped. 

The horse fell out of an unsecured door as the vehicle continued driving eastbound, according to police. Officers found the truck and escorted the driver back to the scene.

Taken to veterinarian

The horse, which was eventually able to stand up, was reloaded into the trailer and taken to a veterinarian to be assessed. No other details were provided on the horse's injuries or condition. 

The driver, a 61-year-old man from Alfred, Ont., has been charged with operating a motor vehicle with an insecure load under the Highway Traffic Act. 

Police said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which regulates the transportation of livestock on the highway, is investigating the incident. The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) is also investigating. 

"While the OPP and its traffic safety partners remain committed to saving lives on our roads, drivers, passengers and the general public play important roles in contributing to safer roads," the OPP said in the release. "This includes ensuring all of your cargo is safely stowed and secure while operating any vehicle on the highway."