A 19-year-old California girl died after she was hit by a distracted driver while riding her horse.

On Aug. 11, Summer Gardner-Vigil was riding her horse, Riggs, westbound on East Harding Road near Turlock when a Chevy pickup truck, traveling northbound on Youngstown Road, slammed into them.

"To get a phone call your child has been in a highway accident, to get that call, I didn’t believe it was true," said Summer’s mother Regina Gardner-Vigil.

Riggs died from the impact. Garner-Vigil was rushed to at Doctors Hospital in Modesto with life-threatening injuries. She remained in the hospital for days, battling for her life but eventually succumbed to her injuries on Saturday, Aug. 14, her family members confirmed to CBS13.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the truck driver, 27-year-old Isaac Leal, admitted that he was distracted behind the wheel. He said he took his eyes off the road to reach for something in the truck. 

When he looked back up, he saw the teen on the horse and made a quick turn to the left causing the truck to rotate counter-clockwise.

The truck slammed into the horse and tossed the teen to the roadway resulting in critical injuries.

"How could you live with yourself, you know? How could you live with yourself? She deserves justice," said Summer’s sister, Shaunna Gardner-Vigil.

Shaunna said her sister, a Pitman High School graduate, has had a major impact on her community.

"She always cared for everybody, she always had love for everybody no matter what," she said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with Garner-Vigil’s funeral costs.

"The driver was driving at such high speed not caring of the fact that people own animals and ride out there because people DO live there," her sister said in the GoFundMe.

As of Sunday, no charges have been filed against Leal.

In a similar incident, 17-year-old Jacory Levier died from drowning after he was flung into a pond while riding a horse.

On July 20, Levier was riding a horse near the retention pond near Beau Chene High School in Louisiana when the animal got spooked and darted off throwing him into the water.

 

Horse Riding Representational image. Pixabay.