By CLINT FOSTER
A collision Saturday night, in the 2700 block of U.S. Highway 180 West, was fatal, after a man and his horse were struck by a passenger vehicle.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Senior Trooper Gary M. Rozzell, around 9 p.m. Alton Harold Alexander, 61, was riding his horse east bound along U.S. 180, just west of the intersection with State Highway 337, when the driver of a 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV hit the horse from behind, throwing Alexander off the animal.
DPS troopers and Mineral Wells Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene. Air Evac Lifeteam flew Alexander to Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:34 p.m.
Alexander’s horse died shortly after authorities arrived on scene and was buried on the side of the road.
Robert “Strawberry” Jordan, owner of Mineral Wells Feed and Farm Supply, said he became close friends with Alexander when Alexander first moved to Mineral Wells 20 years ago. He said Alexander would frequently help out with work at the feed store.
“He was a good man, I’ll tell you,” Jordan said. “He loved his horses, loved kids. He’d come down to the feed store and hang out. He was just a good country guy. He was like a brother to me.”
An eyewitness said that on Saturday night, Alexander was riding his horse next to a covered wagon on the shoulder of U.S. 180. Another source, who asked not to be named, said Alexander was signaling traffic to keep the wagon out of harms way.
“He was waving a red or orange flag, but with it being so dim I don’t know how anybody could have seen him,” the source said.
Jordan explained that Alexander would often ride around with his friends and kids in a wagon pulled by two mules for fun. He added the group would play music from a radio while they relaxed and rode around for fun. Jordan surmised that Alexander must have veered too far into the road while he was flagging traffic when he was hit, but he said he was not sure.
Jordan said he and his wife drove by the wreck on Saturday night and did not realize it was their friend. Shortly after they realized what had happened, Jordan got out at the scene while his wife rushed east toward Fort Worth. Before long Jordan received word that his friend did not make it, so he called his wife and told her to come home.
Jordan remembered Alexander as a talented painter and good father to his five daughters.
According to Jordan, Alexander’s family plans to have the funeral in Mineral Wells and bury him in his hometown of San Angelo.
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