A man has been charged by the North Carolina Highway Patrol in connection to a hit-and-run from the morning of January 30 in which two people suffered personal injuries and killed the horse they were riding in northwest Gaston County.


According to troopers, 46-year-old Bessemer City resident Timothy George Hardin was arrested on January 31 and charged with two counts of felony hit and run and driving on a revoked license.


The NCHP said that it received numerous tips from the public Monday after the story began appearing on news media websites.


The incident occurred early on the morning of January 30 on Hephzibah Church Road near Cherryville. According to troopers, 22-year-old Gastonia resident Carlee Shay Jones and 24-year-old Cherryville resident James Cody Burke were riding a horse back to Jones’ barn after they had ridden to a Wal-Mart store in Cherryville.


The police report said that Jones and Burke stopped along the road to speak to a friend who had driven by. Moments later, the horse was struck by an eastbound car, throwing Jones and Burke to the road. The vehicle driven by Jones’ and Burke’s friend was also struck. The driver then fled the scene.


Jones and Burke were taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte with serious head injuries.


Friends of Jones say she is an experienced rider who sometimes took a horse for a night ride. The horse killed in the crash was a 10-year-old gelding named Leo.

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