Apple engineer and his horse die after being hit by pickup truck

“Allen Haughay Jr. had a lot going for him,” Lisa Fernandez reports for The Mercury News. “The outgoing, 48-year-old software engineer known to everyone as ‘Skip’ worked at his dream job designing iPods for Apple and owned a 3-acre ranch in Morgan Hill filled with horses, pigs and two miniature donkeys. And his friends said he seemed to be beating the cancer he was diagnosed with in the spring.”

“Saturday evening, Haughay was riding his horse, Regal Bull, over to a neighbor’s mariachi party on Hale Avenue with a handful of friends. At about 8:20 p.m., Haughay and Bull were struck by a 2004 GMC pickup truck,” Fernandez reports. “Haughay was flung from his horse’s back onto a parked Ford, according to the California Highway Patrol. Sgt. Adam Rodriguez said Haughay suffered major head injures and was flown by helicopter to Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. His horse died, too, and friends hope to cremate Regal Bull and bury the ashes with Haughay’s remains.”

Fernandez reports, “Rodriguez said the driver of the GMC has not been arrested. The CHP is now investigating whether the driver didn’t see Haughay and his horse on the road, or whether the horse had suddenly darted out onto Hale Avenue south of Kalana Avenue, just about a half-mile away from Haughay’s home.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: RIP, Skip.

Life is fragile.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, June 12, 2005


[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iCupertinoMDN” for the heads up.]


      1. I’m in San Francisco, and yeah, it stays light until fairly late this time of year. But assuming this was along an unlighted, or sparsely-lighted road, you’d want to be very cautious around cars. It might not be dark, but you still might not be very visible.

    1. Recalling driver ed way back when, they taught us that dusk is the most dangerous time on the road. Too dark to see well, and often so light that people don’t have headlights on when they should.

      1. Yeah.
        It might have been what in other countries is known as “La hora del pendejo”, where it’s not daylight nor dark and many people “can’t see”.

        Too bad good people die. I’m sorry about the loss and send my deep condolences to family and friends.

    2. Sunset in Morgan Hill Saturday evening was 7:30 (give or take a couple minutes). By 8:20 it’s pretty dark, even with a bit of late light in the western sky.

      Hale Ave. is a mostly straight section of Santa Teresa Blvd. between Bailey Ave. and Miramonte in Morgan Hill. (Santa Teresa runs from San Jose to Gilroy.) It’s an agricultural area on the north side of Morgan Hill next to the range of hills on the west side of town.

      Most people drive that section well above the posted limit, since it’s mostly straight with light traffic. The time in question is probably the worst part of the day for seeing pedestrians/cyclists/equestrians, since the light level is dropping rapidly, but not yet quite black dark.

  1. I always notice people that know nothing about horses will zoom by them at 50 mph – rather than slow down and be considerate (and safe). Many horses will spook under these circumstances. Unfortunately, this is probably what happened…

    1. That *might* be what happened. Based upon my driving experiences over the past 30 years, It is also entirely possible that the driver was negligent or reckless. There are a *lot* of bad drivers on the road.

  2. It doesn’t take a fast car to spook a horse, they see ‘monsters’ down drains, behind trees and bushes, and can just shy sideways without warning. Terrible for Allen, his family, friends and colleagues.

  3. Life is not fragile. Life is fun, robust, hard hitting and all interesting. Spare me the Jobs introspection. Its fragile if you have pancreatic cancer, have most of removed, then need a liver transplant, then struggle to maintain proper weight.

    Never mind about other BS, like ‘be foolish’. No, don’t be foolish – be smart, have fun, try stuff out, see the world, etc., but don’t haul off and ‘be foolish’.

    Do follow your heart and intuition, but get someone looking out for you too.

    You can travel 16 times around the world, live in four countries, learn to speak new languages, sail from Europe to North America in a 33 foot sailboat, date killer women like the prima ballerina of the country you are in, talk to the most important folks in an industry, motorcycle through the Norwegian fjords and down the Champs Elysee, sip on some Restina while watching the sun go down in Santorini, and have a lady take care of you in Sydney, Kalmar, Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Helsinki, Telluride, Kuala Lumpur, Copenhagen, etc., and they all be different, fun loving souls like yourself.

    If you are marinating in one place in the US playing it safe, lost in your work, afraid to get out there, you are on your own. It won’t matter because you will never know what you missed.

    Life is too short, not fragile. Go to New Zealand’s South Island, try out Guilin China for sightseeing, go to the right khlong market with a pretty lady near Bangkok, hit Phuket and those bars, find a Norwegian friend to take to their cottage in those breathtaking mountains, but stop living a boring life.

    I know about all of this … Ive done it.

    1. It’s a little arrogant to assume that everyone wants to live your life, don’t you think? It doesn’t even interest me. Why not comment on the story at hand instead of regaling us with unsolicited tales of your life?

      My condolences to the family.

    2. And once you’ve done all that, then what? Do it again? Believe it or not, adventures become boring, shallow relationships grow tiresome, and being alone gets very old. Life is too short and it’s that way because it’s fragile. Deep relationships, family, and children are important and eternally satisfying. You have to grow up someday.

    3. Traveling the world is easier said than done. Most of us would love to travel the world, but traveling the world takes time and money (unless your scamming people on your adventures to pay for your adventures.). You telling everyone to quit living a boring life and travel the world is like me telling you quit living a boring life wandering around the Earth and go travel to the moon.

      On a side note regarding the main story… Does this mean there’s an opening at Apple for an engineer? (…lemonade!)

  4. I had the privilege of Skip’s friendship as an undergrad EE student at the University of Delaware. All of my fondest memories of college feature Skip in a leading role. It is hard to believe that a man full of so much life, joy and wit could be taken from this world, which is a smaller place without him.

  5. I was going through some keepsakes this morning when I found Skip’s beautiful obituary from The News Journal, Delaware’s main newspaper. Even after a year and a half, his story of how he valued every day and his love of animals still inspires me. Being a horsewoman myself, I was so happy to know that Regal Bull had such a loving life with Skip after his time on the racetrack. Knowing his spirited lineage, it was truly fate that this wonderful horse and this equally spirited man should have lived out their lives together. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to have known Skip Haughay, nonetheless I will never forget him.

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