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Arrest made in hit-and-run that killed horse, injured two riders

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2011 | Car Accidents |

After an accident it’s wise to consult an attorney. If you have questions about legal issues in this article or in your own personal injury suffered in a wreck, call me directly for help – Lawrence Egerton, 336-273-0508, or e-mail me at [email protected].

Timothy George Hardin has been arrested on suspicion of being the driver in the hit-and-run accident that severely injured Carlee Shay Jones and James Cody Burke and killed  Jones’s horse near Cherryville, North Carolina, on Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Hardin, 46, of Bessemer City, was charged on Monday with two counts of felony hit and run, a misdemeanor hit and run, and driving with a revoked license. Burke, age  24, of Cherryville, and Jones, 22, of Gastonia, were in intensive care with head injuries and listed in fair condition Monday afternoon, according to the Shelby Star.

As I pointed out in a blog yesterday, the circumstances of this incident suggest there were factors that could have contributed to why the driver fled the scene. One reason I listed for why a driver may panic and run after a crash is that he or she was driving with a revoked license.

The wreck took place at 1:43 a.m. on Hepzibah Church Road, near the intersection with Whitesides Road. After a trip to Wal-Mart, Burke and Jones were riding her horse, “Leo,” back to the barn where she boarded him. They had stopped to talk to a friend who was driving by in a Ford Mustang, according to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Frank O’Dell.

A vehicle driving east struck the horse, killing him and throwing Burke and Jones onto the pavement. The vehicle also swiped the back left side of the friend’s car.

When paramedics with Gaston Emergency Medical Services arrived, Burke and Jones were lying in the road. One witness, who went to the scene after hearing “a loud boom,” said Carlee had been going in and out of consciousness.

Hardin, who was being held in the Gaston County Jail on a $20,000 bond,  reportedly told the Highway Patrol he thought he had hit a deer.

The impact of a car striking a deer would be significantly less violent than striking a 10-year-old Quarter Horse, which is the horse involved in this incident. Such a horse would weigh at least 1,000 pounds and likely more, and stand from 14.3 to 16 hands high. That translates to 4 feet 11 inches to 5 feet 4 inches tall – at the top of the shoulders, the withers.

A buck white-tail  deer over  200 pounds and much more than 3 feet tall at the shoulders would be considered a very big deer in this region.

Remember,  a witness heard “a loud boom” from the impact. Not what you usually hear when someone hits a deer.

It was not reported whether Hardin recalled any collision with a car.

Families of both victims are trying to remain optimistic, said Jones’s sister, Amber Jones Gladden. Carlee Jones works as a nursing assistant at Morningside assisted living center in Gastonia, and is a graduate of Forestview High School, Gladden said, and Burke graduated from Cherryville High School.

Media links:

Photos of Carlee Jones with her horse, Leo; James Cody Burke, Timothy Hardin (

Further details and background  (The Shelby Star)

Has your life been disrupted by an accident causing serious injury or death? Do you or someone you know need a lawyer’s counsel? You can get help at the Egerton Law website. The Egerton Law firm and its personal injury attorneys want to help you. Call us at 336-273-0508. E-mail us at [email protected]

Facts about the Egerton Law firm:


  • We have built a tradition of helping injured people and their families since the firm was established in 1956.
  • We have handled cases in North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, New York, the District of Columbia, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and U.S. District Court. We have fought cases all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
  • Firm founder Lawrence Egerton has a personal understanding of the challenges someone faces after being hurt in a wreck, having suffered a serious injury in a rear-end collision in 1996.
  • Our website offers resources on legal issues, informational videos, and a free download of Lawrence’s book “Don’t Follow Too Close.”


Have you had a wreck and the insurance company is:


  • Pressuring you to give a statement? (Don’t give a statement without consulting us.)
  • Refusing to get you a rental car?
  • Making it hard for you to get medical payments?
  • Generally giving you a hard time?


Take action and help us to help you. Call or email: 336-273-0508[email protected].  We can advise you on whether you have a case, how to get a wrecked vehicle paid for and how to get medical care. You will always speak to an attorney on your first call.