Local News

Horseman Insists He's Not Responsible for Vehicle Accident

Posted September 26, 2007
Updated September 27, 2007

— The rider of a horse killed in a weekend car accident insisted Wednesday he did nothing wrong, but authorities said they believe alcohol might have been a factor.

Dashawn Wheeler, 28, was a passenger in a car that rounded a dark curve near the Nash County town of Whitakers on Saturdayand slammed into the horse, ridden by Joe Sweet Jr.

Wheeler was taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition Wednesday evening. The driver of the car was not seriously injured.

Sweet also sustained several injuries, including a broken wrist and tailbone.

Authorities said the horse, which died instantly, was standing in the middle of the road, but Sweet insisted he was on the side of the road.

"I do not ride my horses in the road. I don't ride them in the highway," Sweet said. "We were not in the road."

Sweet was charged with impeding traffic and could face additional charges. He admitted to having two beers earlier in the evening, but said he was not drunk.

"It had to take us at least an hour and a half to ride from Rocky Mount, and a man had given us a six pack of beer."

Wheeler's family wasn't available for comment. Investigators said she might have lifelong injuries.

"I really hate that," Sweet said. "I wish they hadn't hit me and my horse. I hate I lost my horse also."


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Ouroboros Sep 27, 2007

    Let's bust all farmers with their tractors, bicyclists and moped drivers. They impede traffic daily! Also, let's don't forget those dreaded mail carriers and school buses with the malicious traffic impeding stops they make all the time.

  • 68_polara Sep 27, 2007

    "Would this story be the same if it was some idiot on a bicycle?"

    That's exactly what I was thinking.

  • Concerned Sep 27, 2007

    "My Dear Watson" you seem to know an awful lot about this accident. Did they take your eyewitness account? If not, they should have.

  • boingc Sep 27, 2007

    "Those of you whom has hit dears"

    We really need to go back to school...

  • Watson Sep 27, 2007

    I looked at the front of the car, the horse, and the side of the road for car tracks and saw something very interesting from a brief observation that neither of the State Troopers apparently didn’t notice. If the horse was standing in the road as the so called driver said the horse leg would surely be broken but neither was. The car scooped the horse from behind and that’s why neither of the horse legs was broken. That’s the only thing that saved the rider because of the rear strike and the horse actually sat into the windshield and the rider merely flipped backwards and receiver injuries to his wrist and head and the left hip injury came from the brush of the car. Those of you whom has hit dears know the damage the can be done and if the dear had a rider surely more than a simple laceration and injured wrist would happen.

  • Watson Sep 27, 2007

    There were three riders that night and the impact of the first into the lead horse dislodged that rider as well and knocked first horse into the ditch. That rider took the other two horses away because they said the stable was about 3 tenths of a mile away. The remaining rider that was trailing the first two said the driver was across the white line and hit his friends that were walking and talking.

  • Watson Sep 27, 2007

    Although they were taking the back roads From Rocky Mount and got caught riding in the dark is still no excuse. Were they drinking or had they been drinking the toxicology report may reveal that. Was the driver and so called driver charged with DWI/DUI? I don’t think so because they were within 800 meters from their home. Did the troopers do their jobs and cite everyone that causes or may have had a contributing factor, NO!

    The Young lady was snatched from the car and drug across the ditch by the other occupant. Only the windshield collapsed and should have waited for paramedics to prevent further injuries. If she was wearing a seatbelt would some of her injuries have been prevented? There is too much wrong with this accident and not enough accountability by anyone because I guess no one was to blame for what I saw and heard.

  • Watson Sep 27, 2007

    This story has more than meets the paper because being there my eyes saw a different story. First of all it wasn’t in a curve; it was on a straight away about a half mile from the accident. Secondly, the reported driver really wasn’t the driver but the back seat passenger and the two injured were the driver and passenger. The driver (who doesn’t have a license) was high from alcohol and marijuana and so was the other male passenger, and neither of them was cited or even blown from what I saw. The driver was across the white line when he struck the horse and there was no car approaching from the front. The passenger who claimed to be the driver said the horses were in the road but how could that be?

    I looked at the front of the car, the horse, and the side of the road for car tracks and saw something very interesting from a brief observation that neither of the State Troopers apparently didn’t notice. If the horse was standing in the road as the so called driver said the horse

  • boingc Sep 27, 2007

    Jack Schittt

    12 miles divided by 90 minutes equals 8 miles per hour. Hardly breaking any land speed records. That's not really that fast for a horse.

  • Deep thoughts Sep 27, 2007

    Nancy: I have a drivers license and have never had a DWI. There doesn't have to be more to the story just because he road that distance at night. When I moved 20 miles away one of my horses wouldn't trailor. I had to ride him those 20 miles along side the road at night. I would have preferred trails, I would have preferred daylight and I would have really preferred the horse to trailor but sometimes things don't turn out the way you would prefer them to.