Charlie "Mule Man" Peters returns home after crash in AR - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Charlie "Mule Man" Peters returns home after crash in AR

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  • Charlie "Mule Man" Peters returns home after crash in ARMore>>

  • Owosso Twp. veteran injured, mules killed, in AR crash

    Owosso Twp. veteran injured, mules killed, in AR crash

    Thursday, July 25 2013 5:54 PM EDT2013-07-25 21:54:14 GMT
    (07/25/13) - A Shiawassee County veteran and General Motors retiree, traveling cross county with his mule drawn covered wagon, was rear ended and injured Wednesday night.  Both of the animals were killed.The
    Charlie Peters, a Shiawassee County veteran and General Motors retiree, traveling cross county with his mule drawn covered wagon, was rear-ended and injured Wednesday night.
OWOSSO TOWNSHIP (WJRT) -

(07/31/13) - It's been one week since Charlie "Mule Man" Peters was involved in a horrible accident that killed both of his beloved animals. 

He's back home now, in Owosso Township, recovering and taking comfort in the idea that some things happen for a reason.

Peters was 150 miles away from his destination, his father's gravesite in Oklahoma, when rear ended by a truck near Ozark, Arkansas.

The purpose of Peters' trip was to visit his father's gravesite for the very first time and to thank every single veteran he could find. Peters is a vet. His father also served. Peters said he knew he had to do that when someone first thanked him for his service three years ago.

"I knew right that second I was going to do something because I wanted another veteran to feel what I felt in my heart," Peters said, Tuesday.

So he acquired two mules, Maddie and Cass, prepared for years and set out in May. He picked mules as his mode of transportation because he wanted to truly experience everything.

"If I took a car, I'd never meet anybody or see anything, never shake anybody's hand," he said.

Almost three months later, he was almost to where he wanted to be, but was involved in that nasty accident.

"All I remember is I was going down the shoulder of the road, late afternoon, and that was it," Peters said.

When he came to and was in the ambulance, "(I) happened to look down and I saw the mules pinned under the pickup truck. One had already passed. The other passed overnight."

Peters had two broken ribs and was in the hospital for days.

Something happened there that may not have otherwise, at least not as soon as it did.

"(The) doctor came in and said, 'We usually don't scan as low as we did, but we did and we found that you have what we think is cancer on your kidney. It looks like if we get on it right away we can get it taken care of.'"

As for his mules, Peters said they live on.

A veterinarian in Arkansas offered to bury them behind his clinic and cover them with soil from a VA hospital. He did.

"I think that's awesome," Peters said. "That's a fitting end to their journey."

Peters said he will finish his trip, right where it was cut short last week, and get to his father's grave.

"I will tell my dad, "Thank you for your service, pop.'"

Peters said he's in the process of getting new mules. His wagon is being trailered back to Michigan where he will fix it up.

Peters estimates he met at least 1,000 veterans during his time on the road.

"It's changed my life for the better," he said. "People are great. Americans are great."

Police continue to investigate the crash. The 18-year-old driver had looked down at something in her truck and struck Peters' mule-drawn buggy when she looked back up, according to police. No charges have been issued. There is nothing indicating now that she was texting and driving, according to police.

Photo of Peters and his mules courtesy of Sullivan Photography.

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