A teenage girl and a horse were discovered dead near Cypress Bay High School in Southwest Ranches in South Florida Thursday afternoon.
Witnesses said just after 4 p.m. Thursday they saw the girl on the quarter-horse galloping past them. The witnesses said the duo was going at a high rate of speed, comparing it to that of a race horse. Moments later, both were found on the ground dead.
Friends and police identified the victim as 16-year-old Lucia Rodrigo, a junior at Cypress Bay High.
"It feels very awkward and bad. I just, I’m speechless right now," friend Anna Sophia said Friday.
Sophia said she knew Rodrigo from being in the National Art Honor Society together.
"She was very helpful, she was always there smiling. She was just being happy everywhere," she said.
An autopsy is planned for the girl to determine the girl's cause of death. Police said the death appears to be a "tragic accident."
The horse, Brownie, is being transferred to Gainesville to determine the exact cause of death. The horse was 18 years old when it died Thursday.
A family friend told NBC 6 the girl was an experienced rider who had been riding the horse for several years. She was only supposed to take the horse on a ride around the block, but crossed Griffin Road for some reason before falling near Cypress Bay High.
Police said she wasn't wearing a helmet and that witnesses saw her riding the horse at a "fast pace" before police received a call of a person down in the area.
Southwest Ranches Mayor Jeff Nelson came to the scene to provide support late Thursday.
"It's just a horrible, horrible tragedy and you can imagine the parents are heartbroken," Nelson said.
If you have any information about the accident, contact Davie Police at 954-693-8200