A family is heartbroken after two prize horses were killed early Friday morning in a hit and run collision. Now, police say they know who the driver who hit the animals is.
The alleged driver, Adam Stephens, said he was driving his car when he hit what he thought was a deer around 5:00 a.m. Friday morning, according to the Kent County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies inspected Stephens' white Lincoln Towncar and found animal fur embedded in fresh damage, which included heavy front end, windshield and roof damage.
Stephens told deputies alcohol was not a factor in him leaving the scene, and was cited for failure to report an accident/leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor charge.
Friday morning, Louise Mast and her two daughters woke up to a voice outside their window – it was a Kent County deputy.
“He said, ‘do you own horses?’” Mast explains. "I looked through the back door, the pasture was empty … and he said, ‘there's been an accident.’”
Around 6:40, deputies rushed to the corner of Buth Dr. NE and Skyway Dr. NE in Plainfield Township.
“The scene was horrific,” Mast sighs.
Deputies found one horse dead, lying in the road – that’s Nattie a 31-year-old thoroughbred. A second horse named Woody had bloody teeth and two broken legs – severed at the knee.
“(He was) trying to muster up the strength to stay alive, but he was in so much pain, and he wouldn’t quit,” says Mast. “He kept looking over at Nattie, laying in the road, and kept calling to her.”
Police called in a local veterinarian who euthanized Woody. His owner, 23-year-old Christina Mast was with him until the end, and held his head in her lap.
But Chubby, the Mast family’s third horse, was unharmed - no broken bones, but she may be suffering from a broken heart.
“The third horse stayed right with the other two and wouldn't leave,” says Undersheriff Jon Hess. “(It was) heart-wrenching.”
Mast says the trio of horses must have gotten out of their pen overnight.
“They may have been trying to graze through the fence and the fence let loose,” she says. “They just took a walk.”
Mast says the horses are familiar with the trails in the area, because her two daughters ride them often, but this time, Nattie and Woody, didn’t make it home.
“These animals were their life.” She says this incident is almost as devastating to her family, as the day her husband died nearly four years ago.
Undersheriff Hess says if the driver would have stayed on scene, he could have filed a complaint to cover damage to the vehicle because the horses were not properly corralled.