A driver who is accused of driving into a horse and rider in Ocala and leaving the scene was arrested November 13. The Florida hit-and-run accident happened around 4 p.m. at Northwest 35th Street and Northwest 130th Avenue in the town of Fellowship, according to a report in The Ocala Star-Banner. Unfortunately, the crash broke the horse’s leg and he had to be euthanized. The rider is hospitalized with minor injuries including a sprained ankle and bruises.
The story of what actually happened depends on who is recounting the events.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 35-year-old suspect said he loaned his car to another driver and was not behind the wheel, but when police stopped him, he failed a field sobriety test. His blood alcohol measured .223, nearly three times the legal limit for intoxication and was taken hours after the accident. Law enforcement tracked him down after seeing a car with front-end damage and a shattered windshield. The driver then said he was distracted and hit the horse, but when the rider fell and got back on he drove off.
However, witnesses say the car was heading directly east when it hit the horse and rider who were riding in a westbound direction and neither the horse nor rider stood back up.
The Ocala auto accident attorneys of Farah & Farah law firm have learned that the horse had a value of about $8,500, according to the newspaper.
The driver has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and DUI with bodily injury. Because he left the crash scene he also was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and two counts of DUI with property damage. Had the rider been serious injured or killed, this driver could be facing up to 30 years in prison for leaving the scene of an auto accident.