“A prince of a man”: Friends remember Nicholas County postman killed in crash with horse


BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- A Central Kentucky town is mourning Friday after the tragic death of one of its own. State police say 80-year-old Donald Smith was driving to work early Friday morning when he crashed into a horse near the Bourbon-Fayette county line. Both Smith and the horse have died.

Troopers say two horses got through a fence. One survived.

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It is 30 minutes away in Nicholas County where many people in Smith’s hometown of Carlisle are shocked. Friend, Gladys Shrout, says she often saw Smith at the post office. It feels like everyone  in his hometown did. He worked for more than 30 years bringing mail between Carlisle and Lexington, exactly what he was doing when he died.

“Don always had a smile on his face every time you saw him and he always had something funny to say and that’s how I will always remember him,” Shrout said.

Others in town remember him as a “prince of a man”, a father of four, and a caretaker of his wife and one of his sons.

“They’re just going to be devastated because he did so much for both of them so it’s a tragic thing that’s happened,” Shrout said.

On the farm in Bourbon County, the owner of the horse who died agrees.

“I couldn’t imagine anything worse,” Tanya Johnson said.

Johnson says she does not want to glorify her animal. She says, even though he was a former racehorse and then beloved pet, in the horse business you get desensitized to loss.

“We do somewhat get used to it, but when a life is lost, it’s a different story,” Johnson said.