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Horse-Drawn Carriage Accident

PANICKED HORSES BOLT WITH WEDDING CARRIAGE

By Mike Jaccarino and Simone Weichselbaum

A fairy tale wedding march went from nice to nuts Sunday when two horses pulling a Cinderella-style carriage broke loose on a Brooklyn street, police and witnesses said.

The buggy's driver flew out of his seat and landed on the windshield of a Lincoln Town Car at 12th Ave. and 65th St. in Bay Ridge, cops said. The carriage and car drivers both refused medical treatment. An FDNY spokesman said one man was taken to Maimonides Medical Center after he was found under the buggy. His condition was unknown.

The groom and bride were walking to the carriage when the pole connecting the horses to the carriage snapped, causing the two white horses to panic.

"The horses got startled," said Israel Rodriguez, 51, who saw the wreck.

"One of the carriage drivers was dressed well, like Prince Charming," he said. "But the horses started running and threw him out. He was on the ground, bloody and clothes all torn."

Cops said there were other passengers in the buggy but did not know if it was the bride and groom.

Dominick Cappiello, who was stuck driving behind the out-of-control carriage about 2 p.m., said a bouncing basketball in a nearby court caused the bang-up. Cappiello, 52, said he saw the carriage's driver lead the horses onto the sidewalk, sandwiched between a schoolyard and the road.

"I saw the horses take off across 65th St.," Cappiello said. Within seconds, the buggy's driver was on top of the Town Car, he said. "I was shocked. It was something like you see on TV," Cappiello said.

A nearby light pole stopped the horses from running farther down 12th Ave. Police said the reins broke as the driver tried to steer the animals. The carriage driver declined to speak to the Daily News on Sunday, saying he was "in a very bad frame of mind."


Originally published in The New York Daily News, August 31, 2008.

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