Police chief: Tragedy was 'purely an accident'

BY SARA VANDEN BERGE sara.vandenberge@empiretribune.com

Dublin Police Chief Lannie Lee could hardly talk about the accident that claimed the life of a Dublin teenager Tuesday without getting choked up.

"It's been a long time since we worked an accident like this involving a child," Lee said Wednesday afternoon. "It's tough."

Lee also said the tragedy was "purely an accident."

Pablo Marquez, 13, was at a friend's house after school Tuesday when he decided to get on his friend's horse and go for a ride.

The horse had a history of becoming "jittery," Lee said, and was in a "dead run" and heading straight into oncoming traffic as he neared the downtown area.

"The friend was chasing after them, trying to get the horse to stop," Lee said.

Marquez was coming from the west side of town near Dollar General on Trowbridge Street. Witnesses said he was trying hard to stop the horse.

The horse was struck by an 18-wheeler owned by Chalk Mountain Trucking. No citations will be issued to the female driver who is reportedly "devastated," Lee said.

In the wake of the tragedy, Lee is issuing a warning to others who might contemplate riding a horse downtown.

"Riding a horse in the city is never safe," Lee said. "Traffic will startle the horse."

Marquez was pronounced dead at the scene, and the horse was also killed.