Gloucester County

Horse Killed, Teen Rider Hospitalized in NJ Hit-and-Run Crash

When they stopped to rest, the victim's brother said a light-colored Ford pick-up truck slammed into the teen and their horse "Predator"

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Police in Franklin Township, New Jersey say they're searching for a pick-up truck driver who struck a horseback rider, killing the animal and sending the young girl to the hospital Tuesday night.

"I’m angry. Instead of the person stopping, at least to make sure that we were good, no," the victim's brother, who was riding with her, told NBC10. "The person kept going!"

Edgar Galarza, 21, and his 14-year-old sister Tatiana were wrapping up their horseback ride on rural Monroeville Road just before dusk.

"We were literally on the grass," Edgar said.

When they stopped to rest, Edgar said a light-colored Ford pick-up truck slammed into Tatianna and her horse "Predator."

"The driver was driving an insanely high speed to hit and kill a horse and still be able to drive down the road," witness Michael Pfommer said. "Think about how fast that truck has to be going!"

Edgar explained the impact was so strong, the car broke the horse's legs and left her bleeding in the street.

Pfommer called 911. "The driver never braked, never stopped, never slowed down. There was no skid mark, no 'errhhh,' no nothing," he said.

Tatiana was rushed to the hospital where she was in critical condition suffering fractures in her hip and leg. Officials said she was lucky to be alive. Doctors were checking for internal injuries.

Franklin Township police tried to get a veterinarian on location, but the horse didn't make it, Deputy Chief Matt DeCesari said.

Through tears, Edgar said seeing the 15-year-old horse Predator suffering was "the worst thing" he had to see.

"I cried what I had to cry," Edgar said. "She's in a better place."

Authorities are asking for the public's help tracking down the older-style Ford truck they believe has frontend damage, including a missing right-side mirror.

Under New Jersey statutes, horses have the same rights as motorists on the road.

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