Trenton man dies when car hits, kills three horses

Published: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 10:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 10:19 p.m.

BLITCHTON — A Trenton man died Friday night when the car he was driving struck and killed three horses on U.S. 27 near the Marion-Levy County line, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Authorities say Edbert Gladford Hastings, 63, died at the scene of the accident. FHP said his white 2001 Hyundai Sonata was heading east on U.S. 27 when approximately eight horses at Turtle Pond Farm broke out of a fence and ran onto the roadway.

With the road being dark, the horses apparently went unnoticed by Hastings, troopers say.

As Hastings approached the intersection of U.S. 27 and County Road 316, he struck three of the horses, killing them instantly.

The car then veered onto the center median, about 200 feet from impact, where its roof was torn off.

Hastings then entered into the eastbound lane on U.S. 27 and traveled a few hundred yards before finally stopping on the south shoulder on U.S. 27, troopers said.

Officials believe the car traveled nearly 1,000 feet from point of impact to its final resting point.

Not long after the crash, which occurred shortly after 7 p.m., Hastings' family arrived on scene and was told the news.

A woman was heard screaming at the intersection.

With the three horses lying in the roadway, deputies detoured traffic onto CR 316.

Though she did not witness the accident, Heather Shaw said she was driving on County Road 335, heading into Marion County, when she saw some horses heading toward her — apparently horses other than those that ended up involved in the fatal crash.

Shaw said she rolled dow her windows and told the horses "Ho girls, ho."

But, she said, the horses kept going and she drove past them, then turned around in front of them.

She said she then exited her vehicle and, along with other people, was able to stop the horses and settle them down.

"We walked them over to a Good Samaritan, who offered to keep them for the night," she said of the horses not involved in the accident.

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