HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Dustin Shares was on his motorcycle, only a minute from his house when he hit a black horse laying in the middle of the road in Horry County in May.

His girlfriend, Brittany Marcincin, had gotten off work and was following him in her car. She said when she first got to the scene, she saw a body laying on the yellow lines in the middle of the road.

“I almost threw out my transmission trying to put it in park and drive and reverse,” Marcincin said. “Trying to turn around because everybody speeds down that road and that’s what I was concerned about, because I almost ran him over. If somebody who wasn’t slowing down or paying attention, they would’ve run him over too.”

Shares hit the horse at about 9 p.m. along Cane Branch Road in Loris, just off Highway 22. Marcincin said when they got to the hospital, Shares had more than 20 recorded injuries and was told he had less than a 5% chance to live past the first night.

“I lost it. Already knowing that, what I’ve been through, I was like ‘great, I’m going to lose him,'” Marcincin said. “And the last words I was going to hear from him was him calling my name, asking for me to help him.”

Marcincin said that night was the first time Shares had ever ridden without his helmet because he accidentally left it in her car.

Shares spent 60 days at Grand Strand Medical Center before he was released. He’s walking on his own now, but has been visiting the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, for his left arm that is still partially paralyzed.

He said luckily, though, the nerves are still connected.

“What drew me to Dustin [Shares] was his personality and how he was able to keep his sense of humor even after such a terrible accident,” said Gabriel Milton, a patient transporter.

Shares’ parents say they took turns staying with their son every night. Milton also sure to check on him before, during and after his shift.

Both Milton and Shares received the challenge coin on Monday during the “victory lap.”

* * *

Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.