Friday, June 19, 2009


Remember this name. Kendra James. She is a recent college graduate who I understand is planning on becoming a teacher. She was charged today for failure to report injuring a wild horse on the north beach of Corolla on March 29th. She knew she hit the horse but she drove away leaving him to suffer for hours and hours. It was during an unusually hot spell for March – temperatures were in the high 90’s during the day and the 80’s at night. The insects were unbearable. When found, he literally had a moat of sorts around him. He could only pivot around in a circle on his uninjured left hind leg. He was shaking from the effort to stay upright.

Almost all of us have made mistakes when we were young. Done foolish things that we regret. But this young woman was VERY familiar with the northern beaches. Her parents have owned a home in Carova for years. It is impossible to spend even a short time there and NOT know that there are wild horses on the sand roads and beaches at all hours. She would also have to know that the beaches and sand roads of the northern Outer Banks are very dark at night. There are no such things as street lights on the northern most beaches. The speed limit is 15. She hit a horse, close to the dune line, with enough force to cause a compound fracture. That is hard to do if you are going 15 miles an hour or not impaired in some manner. She stated that she was going 20 – 25 miles an hour and that it was foggy. Even more reason to not be out driving around on the beach in the predawn hours.
She also stated that a group of horses ran out in front of her and she tried to swerve but the sand ruts were too deep. The first volunteer on the scene stated that there were no other prints except that of the injured horse and that tire tracks led up to the horse and then backed off at an angle. Kendra, is an experienced beach driver and, there WERE NO DEEP RUTS on the beach where the horse was hit. I saw that myself.

She finally admitted to hitting the horse to an investigating officer but not until nearly two and a half months had passed. She knew, and she left him. She stated that she “didn’t know who to call.” All she had to do was call 911. What about taking responsibility for your actions? The outcome would have been the same because the break was so bad, but he could have at least been spared the hours and hours of agonizing pain that he suffered.

At 21, everyone should know that it is wrong to severely injure an animal and leave it suffer. I will never understand how she justified not notifying anyone that could help the horse, or how she justified not taking responsibility for her actions. Is this what she will teach her students?

We are so grateful to Currituck County Sherriff Susan Johnson, Detective Vic Lasher, Lt. Jason Banks, and any other police officers who assisted in the arrest. They treated this crime with importance it deserved and sent a message that irresponsible behavior will not be overlooked or tolerated.


  1. Just more of the same - a tourist damaging something in our home area and obviously thinking 'hey, i don't live here, what do i care? i'll just take off.' i am so tired of people who don't live here harming the things we care about. They think they're above all of us locals and above the law. Hopefully this will prove to them that they are anything but.

    However, as someone in my mid-twenties, I want to say that yes, people do make mistakes when they're young. But people make mistakes at ANY age. That qualifier needn't be added. Not all twentysomethings are reckless, nor are older people infallible, either.

  2. The speed limit is definitely labeled properly on the sign as you enter...35 mph, 15 mph 300 feet of pedestrians (underlined) ...the 15 mph signs lining the beach are pretty much for the tourists to keep slow.

    The beach widens up near the refuge and you can easily drive at 35 mph since the beach is packed down in that section due to tidepools the fact that its a very wide beach up there, even during high tide.

    However, the north beach is a very different beast to drive at night considering its just you and your headlights and the stars. Everyone knows it doesnt help to barrel down the beach more than 20 or so mph after the sun goes down, considering all of the debris, ruts, washouts, etc... not to mention live animals running around. Some people are just so used to it (like kendra) it becomes tedious driving on the beach and she slipped up. I'm surprised and glad she turned herself in, considering she knew full well what would happen to her if she did.

    On the bright side, this event has brought alot of media attention which definitely helps the public see that these horses need our help. Also, I have seen more police presence both on an off the beach in the back roads keeping our horses and pedestrians safe.

  3. Let's not give her too much credit for "turning herself in." Over ten weeks went by, she knew she was a suspect, and the police were persistent before she finally admitted to hitting the horse. Anyone in law enforcement will tell you that what people will finally admit to doing and what really happened are usually very different things. If the truth was alsways told, there would be no need for courts.

  4. I see, I didn't realize they were doing all of this and had evidence against her. Thanks for clarifying and shedding some light on what happened because all of the news articles kept it real short.

    I hope this will get someone step forward and and do the responsible thing and admit guilt for hitting our late buddy Spec. We surely do miss him.

  5. As a yearly visitor to the outer banks, I ask that you not lump all of us in with tourists who don't care about your home. My wife and I visit the outer banks every year precisely because it is such a beautiful place. We are both always very mindful of the environment and the impact our visit has on it. We are both big supporters of the efforts to save the horses because we understand the historical, environmental and economic impact they have on the area. It's a tragic event that should have never happened, and although we are not locals, we feel the sadness and anger that all of you feel when this kind of stupidity happens.

  6. I've got to agree with dmbiddle - When visiting last month, I had several tourists going too fast on the beach, but the most dangerous actions came from some lady in a white Jeep Wrangler who came flying onto the beach (instead of bearing right, she decided she'd bear left) and nearly hitting my wife and I head on as we were in the soft sand trying to keep momentum to get over the hill. We both stopped, the lady in the white jeep doesn't move (she threw up both hands like we were in her way...) and we had to stop and change direction to get around her. Of course, she had stickers all over her Jeep saying "I LIVE HERE". Not sure what her deal was, but I think she, as anyone in the 4x4 area, should drive carefully and with courtesy of their fellow drivers.

  7. My husband and I are what you'd consider "tourists" at the moment but are so in love with the area we will be locals soon enough. We take care of this area and the wildlife and beaches as if it was our own. In fact we usually leave the beach with more trash (other careless people's trash) than we came with. The reason we love OBX so much is the careful preservation of the land and it's dwellers. I think this article shows that it's not only tourists but locals as well who need to constantly be reminded of the precious gifts God blessed us all with in OBX. I am so glad you addressed this matter in the way you did! Call these people out! Let people know everyone is watching and you will be accountable for your actions. ANIMALS ARE AT OUR MERCY- BE MERCIFUL! God bless the locals and the tourists who refuse to allow unacceptable behavior occur in the Heaven that is otherwise known as The Outer Banks :)