Horse killed, rider injured in Orange City hit-and-run

By Saul Saenz, Volusia County Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, February 01, 2015, 5:40 PM EST

A woman is in the hospital and her horse is dead after witnesses said a driver hit them with his pickup truck and then sped off, deputies said.

Volusia County deputies arrested Christopher Todd, 21, early Sunday. The incident happened just before 2 a.m., at French Landing along the St. Johns River, near Orange City.

Four riders and their horses were at the landing when deputies said Todd sped up in his white 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, almost driving into the river.

One of the female riders told Todd the group was leaving and not to speed. Deputies said a short verbal altercation followed with Todd cursing, and the rider using a racial slur.

Todd sped off, made a U-turn and drove straight for the horses and the riders.

Deputies said Todd intentionally rammed a black Tennessee Walker, ejecting 23-year-old Chloe Sloan onto the truck's hood.

Witnesses said he continued to press the gas until Sloan fell off the hood, and the horse was no longer stuck to the front grill.

Sloan was able to run into the nearby woods as Todd circled the horse and then sped away.

The woman suffered a broken collarbone. The horse died at the scene.

Todd was pulled over approximately 33 miles north of the incident around 3:40 a.m.

He was charged with aggravated battery and animal cruelty. Todd was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on $10,000 bond.