woman riding a horseUmatilla, FL – A 17-year-old girl was flown to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries Saturday after the driver of a pickup truck hit her and the horse she was riding on.

According to troopers, the driver of a 1985 Ford pickup heading south on 182nd Avenue Road hit the horse from behind, ejecting the teen and sending the horse airborne.

The horse traveled into the northbound lane and was struck by another vehicle. The horse died at the scene.

The teen was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Officials claim the girl was not seriously injured.

Neither of the drivers involved in the collision were injured. The investigation is pending.

Riding a horse on a roadway in Florida is perfectly legal. The law states that horse-back riders must adhere to the same rules as pedestrians and motorists must use reasonable care when sharing the road with equestrians. This means that roadway horse-back riders must follow these rules:

  • Ride facing oncoming traffic
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Riders are not required to use sidewalks, but they may not ride on highways, freeways or the ramps leading up to them

When riding a horse on the roadway or public grounds, it is important to act responsibly in order to minimize the risk of an injury. The following are a few general safety tips for all horse-back riders navigating the trails or the roadway:

  1. Only ride on designated trails, roads or other areas.
  2. Riding with a friend or group is best. Carry a cell phone in case an accident occurs.
  3. Make sure to obey all traffic signals and signs and respect barriers.
  4. Reduce your speed when visibility is poor.
  5. Because the majority of rider fatalities are caused by head injuries, make sure to wear an ASTM/SEI-certified riding helmet.

Due to the force and amount of impact, auto accidents can leave victims suffering serious injuries such as broken bones, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, fractures and internal bleeding. No one should have to suffer after being involved in an auto accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent actions. The costs of these injuries can negatively impact every aspect of your life, so it is important to understand how to protect your rights during this difficult time. A personal injury attorney can help you pursue an injury claim against any responsible parties so that you can recover financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and any other expenses that result.

If you or a family member has been injured in an auto accident, of any kind, in Lake, Sumter or Marion County, contact a Villages Auto Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton online or call 352-369-5334.