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Saturday, May 18 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-18 12:00:09 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 11:58 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:58:09 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 11:44 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:44:12 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:43:28 GMT
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FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) -
Tragedy strikes twice on the same stretch of South Georgia road.
Just one day after a woman was struck and killed by a car in Fitzgerald a van struck a horse Thursday night injuring its rider and killing the horse.
It happened on North Merrimac Drive prior to the start of the city's annual Christmas parade.
22-year-old James Bowman says 'Molly' was like part of the family. He was there when Molly took her first breath and he stood by her side last night as she took her last.
What was once a holiday tradition for 22-year-old James Bowman and his horse Molly is now a terrible memory.
Bowman and his cousin Gary Jowers had just unloaded their horses and were on their way to ride in the Fitzgerald Christmas Parade.
"I looked both ways, stepped out into the road, and didn't see anything coming," said James Bowman.
But when they turned on North Merrimac Drive things took a deadly turn.
"I heard my cousin take a deep breath and snatch his horse up from behind me and I turned around and looked and the car was pretty much under us by then," said Gary Jowers.
Out of nowhere, a van appeared and hit James and Molly from behind.
"It hit the horse in the back legs, in the back hams and it shot the horse and James straight up in the air," said Jowers.
Both James and Molly landed in the road.
"I bounced off the windshield and flew ten to 15 feet over the car and landed on the asphalt," said Bowman.
"I thought I lost my cousin really," said Jowers.
Molly was down, and couldn't get up.
"All we could do was talk to her and comfort her while she was taking her last breaths," said Bowman.
They tried calling veterinarians, but they knew there was nothing more anyone could do for her.
"I stayed there on the concrete and stayed with her until she took her last breath," said Bowman.
Bowman refused any medical treatments because he wanted to stay by her side. He finally gave in and went to the hospital Friday.
"I got bruises on my hips, a fracture on my wrist and got cuts and scrapes," said Bowman.
All he has left now are memories of Molly.
"Be thankful for the things you do have, because you may not always have them," said Bowman.
He hopes it's a reminder to drivers to always pay attention when you are on the road.
The accident could have been a lot worse. James says his 8-year-old cousin was supposed to be riding on Molly with him, but he changed his mind at the last minute.
Charges are still pending on the driver of the van.