A Santa Clara woman out for a horseback ride with two friends in Palo Alto died on Dec. 17 after her horse threw her, Palo Alto police said.
Lorie Kerr, 57, died of cranial cerebral injuries, according to the Santa Clara County Coroner's office. She was riding northbound on Deer Creek Road from Arastradero Road at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The friends were on their way to the horse-boarding facility Pagemill Pastures, located at 3450 Deer Creek Road. All three horses became spooked for an unknown reason, Sgt. Wayne Benitez said. The horses galloped north, but Kerr's horse broke away and surpassed the other two.
The other two riders lost sight of her. When they finally caught up, they discovered she had been thrown from the horse and struck her head on the pavement, he said.
Witnesses said the horse was going about 40 mph and Kerr was not wearing a helmet, Palo Alto Fire Deputy Chief Catherine Capriles said. The incident occurred near 3500 Deer Creek, she added.
Capriles said that Kerr had no pulse and was not breathing when fire personnel arrived on scene. Responders initiated CPR, but all signs indicated that she was deceased. She was declared dead on scene at 2:50 p.m.
Kerr boarded her horse at Pagemill and supported a Change.org petition to keep land for the facility that was being taken back by Stanford University, which owns the property, according to her posting.