A horse was killed and a 20-year-old woman was hospitalized following an accident along a rural highway this morning.
Lauren Nicole Matthews, 20, of Brooksville, was driving her SUV west along Ayers Road near the Culbreath Road intersection when a horse wandered onto the highway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said Matthews, who was driving a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo, couldn't avoid a collision and struck the horse.
After the animal was hit, the Isuzu veered off the road, crashed into a concrete culvert, went airborne and struck a power pole, according to an accident report.
Moments later, a second westbound vehicle, a 2008 Chrysler minivan, crashed into the horse, which resulted in the animal's death, troopers said.
The accident took place around 6 a.m.
Matthews was airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in serious condition, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, an FHP spokesman.
The driver of the minivan, Margaret Ann Altman, 56, suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized, troopers said.
The crash is still under investigation.
Gaskins said the quarter horse was owned by Kristina Mizell, who owns property along Hayman Road, a short distance east of the intersection.
A message left with Mizell was not returned Wednesday.