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MAN INJURED BY SPOOKED HORSE IN CENTRAL PARK

By Alison Gendar and Leo Standora - NY Daily News - April 29, 2006

A young carriage horse on a training run got spooked and ran wild in Central Park yesterday, seriously injuring a 71-year-old bicyclist, police said.

The impact sent Lawrence McKittrick sprawling near 64th St. and Central Drive about 2:30 p.m. Police said he was taken to New York Weill Cornell Medical Center with what appeared to be a broken hip.

Santana Altarico, who was driving the empty carriage, told cops he lost control of the horse, which jumped off East Drive and galloped into a grassy area near 67th St.

The frightened driver said it was there he leapt from the carriage injuring his knee. He was treated at Roosevelt Hospital.

The horse continued west where it collided with McKittrick. How it was finally corralled was unclear.

Yesterday's mishap came three months after a spooked horse bolted on a midtown street, galloped into a station wagon and sent his driver flying from the passenger-less carriage.

Driver Carmelo Vargas, 36, suffered a fractured skull and a man and his son in the station wagon suffered minor injuries. The horse suffered a broken leg and had to be euthanized.

The harrowing incident sparked heated debate over whether horse-drawn cabs should be banned in the city.

Despite the uproar, Mayor Bloomberg said the city won't be scrapping the cabs anytime soon. However, under a City Council bill introduced later, the cabs would be confined to Central Park.

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