Car strikes and kills horse; Rider in critical condition

Driver says it was a horrible accident

CALLAHAN, Fla. – An Orange Park man is in critical condition after two cars hit him and his horse, who died because of the accident.

News4Jax spoke to the driver, who was not injured and has not yet been cited or charged in the crash. She did not want to comment, but did say it was a horrible accident. 

Granger was riding his horse west on Ratliff Road. A Jacksonville woman did not see them initially and when she did, she slammed on her brakes, but it was too late. Granger was thrown off the horse. The injured horse bolted and was running in the road when a second car hit the horse and killed him. Granger was taken to UF Health.

News4Jax also spoke with Allyson Hall, owner of Towne Hall Farm in Callahan. 

"This is horse country and there are a lot of farms around here so he may have been traveling to another barn or coming back from a trail ride, I'm not sure," said Hall, "they can really only see straight ahead, they can't see or hear coming back from along the side so their focus is dead ahead."

Since horses can really only see straight ahead, suddenly hearing a car right next to them, can easily scare them.

Hall said it's best not to ride at night but says offers advice to those who do.

"There's definitely special type of tack you can wear that has hazard stripes on it and you can colorful clothes very similar to if you're going out and hunting so you can wear the really bright orange and things like that but most importantly really stay on the side of the road if you can try to ride much further away from the road and along the side. It's also good to go with a partner as well," she said.

Although it is difficult for Hall to hear about this incident, she hopes Granger is okay.

"I wish him the best of luck and just hope he has a speedy recovery," Hall said.

Troopers said the Jacksonville woman was at fault in the accident for failure to yield.

About the Authors:

Emmy-nominated journalist Kristin Cason joined the News 6 team in June 2016.