STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- One Stokes County family says a woman hit and killed their horse and now they want something to change.
"It had just gotten dark," Terry Brown said.
He says he had a flashing red light on his hat, other riders had flashlights and were wearing bright colors, so that the group of nine would be spotted on Stewart Road Saturday night.
"She never slowed down. She never hit her brake and she ran into me, caused me to flip off the horse, and killed my horse," Brown said. "The horse died in about an instant. She weighed 1,300 pounds probably. She was a sweetheart. She was my life."
Brown says he had his horse Jill for 13 years.
A photo of the two was taken just hours before the accident.
Jill's body acted as a shield.
"She hit that horse and it stopped the truck. The youngin's were in front of me," Brown said.
Now, she rests peacefully in a grave next to Brown's own father.
"She died saving us," Brown said through tears.
Carrying signs, friends and family gathered around Jill's grave.
They hope her death won't be in vain.
"They need to do something. These people get hurt and you know these cars -- they need to educate people," Brown said.
Highway patrol is investigating the incident.
FOX8 has learned that the driver was not impaired, and no charges will be filed.
North Carolina law indicates drivers should use "reasonable care" when approaching or passing a horse.