Collision that killed Corolla wild horse is ruled an accident

By on June 11, 2018

The remains were buried on the beach Sunday. (CWHF)

The Currituck County Sheriff’s Office has determined no charges will be filed against the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a wild horse on the Currituck Outer Banks over the weekend.

The driver from Virginia Beach said they were traveling northbound near Currituck milepost 20.5 when four to five horses ran across the dune and into the path of their vehicle Saturday at about 10:37 p.m., according to a news release from Sheriff Matthew Beickert.

Conditions were foggy with low visibility and the vehicle was traveling 20 to 25 mph, Beickert said.

The speed limit along the beach, which is the only way to reach residences and vacation homes north of Corolla village, is 35 mph. The name of the driver was not released.

The mare was struck by the vehicle’s left front tire, according to Beickert. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund said in a Facebook post the horse died instantly.

“(H)er stallion stayed over her body all night even after she was covered with a tarp,” according to the post from the non-profit group that manages the herd.

“Please pay attention when you are driving on the beach at night,” the group said. “Slow down and expect that a horse could be on the beach or running over the dunes at any given moment.”

This is the first vehicle-related death of a wild horse in almost six years. Twenty horses were killed by vehicles between 1985 and 1996 when they still roamed freely between Sanderling and Carova.

A fence was erected in 1997 and the 20 remaining wild Colonial mustangs were herded north of Corolla village. The herd has since grown to around 100 members.

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