Five horses were killed in a road accident in County Durham in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 2 June).
Nineteen horses escaped on to the A1(M) just after midnight between junctions 60-61 (Bradbury and Bowburn). The road was closed from 12.30am-4.30am.
Two horses were found dead and two more had to be put down at scene by a vet.
“We received multiple calls from motorists reporting up to 20 loose horses on the road early this morning,” said a spokesman for County Durham Police.
“Several animals were injured after being hit by cars or colliding with the central barriers. It is believed they left a secure field when a gate was left open by an unknown person.”
The horses also strayed onto the nearby A689 and caused chaos there.
Police rounded up a further 15 other horses, all of which had injuries of varying degrees to be treated by a vet.
There was another fatality later on the A688 at St Helen Auckland at 4.45am. But police believe it was unrelated.