A semitrailer truck hauling 59 horses collided with another vehicle and flipped onto its side Saturday night near Wadsworth, police said, injuring and killing many of the animals inside.
"We've got a lot of dead horses," Lake County sheriff's police Sgt. Curt Gregory said.
Rescue efforts were difficult because the crash left the doors leading to the horses inaccessible, Gregory said. Authorities were working late Saturday night to cut the trailer open, a time-consuming process, police said.
Additionally, rescuers were struggling to remove the injured horses because many dead horses were on top of them, police said.
The accident happened shortly before 7 p.m. as the truck was headed to the Minneapolis area from Indiana, Gregory said. It was carrying young Belgian draft horses.
The semitrailer was traveling north on Route 41 when it was struck by a pickup truck headed west on Wadsworth Road, Gregory said.
One of the vehicles ran a red light, but authorities were not immediately sure which driver was at fault, Gregory said.
The semitrailer driver lost control of his vehicle after the crash, police said. It jumped the median and then flipped onto its right side, blocking northbound and southbound traffic on Route 41.
Area horse and stable owners were called in by firefighters to help remove the animals from the scene in their own trailers, police said. It was not immediately known how many horses were hurt or killed.
The pickup driver was taken to an area hospital by an ambulance, police said. No one else was hurt.
Firefighters from the Newport Township Fire Protection District were on the scene, but officials with the department could not be reached for comment Saturday night.
No other details were available Saturday night as police continued investigating the crash and crews worked to remove the horses.