Runaway Carriage Horse Collides With Cars and Breaks Free
The New York Times
By ANDY NEWMAN, VIVIAN YEE and MATT FLEGENHEIMER
Updated, 7:30 p.m. | A spooked carriage horse burst out of line near Central Park Thursday, thundered out into the busy traffic on Columbus Circle, dumped his driver, overturned his carriage with two passengers inside, struck two cars, shed the wreckage of his carriage and ran free for four blocks before being captured on Ninth Avenue, the authorities and witnesses said.
Three people were injured, the police said. The horse, a 6-year-old draft gelding named Oreo with a white and brown paint coat, sustained only a minor scratch to his muzzle, said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which enforces carriage-horse regulations.
The accident was the latest mishap involving carriage horses near the park. The periodic accidents, some of them entailing serious injuries, help feed a growing campaign by animal advocates to ban the carriage-horse trade in New York.
The chaos unfolded around 4:20 p.m. on a glorious afternoon when the park and Columbus Circle were filled with people. One witness, Ernest Gaithers, said that Oreo and his red-and-white carriage were lined up along Central Park South with the other hansom cabs when the horse bolted. The driver almost immediately fell out of his seat and landed in the street, his leg bleeding, said Mr. Gaithers.
The horse headed toward Columbus Circle and collided with a silver BMW, ripping off part of its bumper, Mr. Gaithers said, and the carriage began to fly apart.
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