A group of horses were injured or killed after they escaped from their pasture and wondered into the roadway early Tuesday morning.
Around 1:30 a.m. the Harnett County 911 Center received a report two horses had been stuck by a large vehicle near the intersection of Red Hill Church Road and Ash Avenue between Dunn and Erwin.
State troopers along with Harnett County Deputies, Harnett County Animal Control, North Carolina Department of Transportation and the state department of agriculture were called to the scene at various points throughout the early morning.
When law enforcement officers arrived, they found two of the horses dead and three others injured. According to Harnett County Animal Control Director Holly Hargrove, two of the injured horses were later euthanized and the third injured horse was treated by its owner who later appeared at the scene.
“At the time we were told there were a couple of horses injured and a couple deceased,” Hargrove said. “When our officer arrived she found one that didn’t appear as injured. So she went back to get one of our trailers.”
Hargrove said when the officer returned, the owner of the horse had arrived on scene and took over responsibility for treating the animal.
“The owner was on the scene and was going to take care of things,” she said. “A lot of the injured or dead horses had been moved by the time our officer arrived.”
Crews from NCDOT arrived on the scene around 7 a.m. to remove the horses, according to spokesman Andrew Barksdale. He said crews removed two horses from the shoulder of the road using construction equipment fitted with a bucket and a dump truck. The horses were taken to state-owned property in rural Harnett County and were buried.
“We drove the horses to one of the pits we own,” Barksdale said. “The state owns small little pits in isolated areas of the county. We actually use them to get dirt, we buried them in the ground in a rural area in Harnett County.”
Rick Curl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 910-230-2037.