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Horse-Drawn Carriage Accidents

Carriage Crash Victims Identified

From CBSAtlanta.com, submitted by Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

Atlanta Police say a car ran a traffic light Friday and struck a horse drawn carriage in downtown Atlanta, seriously injuring several people.

The accident took place at around 7:30 p.m. on Peachtree and Harris Streets.

Witnesses said the cars were speeding as if on a highway and ran the red light at the intersection of Andrew Young International. One of the cars, a Black Lexus, was driven by Gerald Odom, 28.

Odom plowed into the back of a group of three people enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride. The crash threw the carriage driver and his three passengers into the air. Two cars swerved to avoid them.

The carriage driver Donald Borchardt, 61, and his three passengers, Andrea Rice, 31, Carol Knieriem, 56, and Marilyn Compain, 63, were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. Police said they had serious, but non-life threatening injuries. Police said the three passengers were from Nebraska.

The crash put a stop to the normal festive area of bars and restaurants.

Witness Melanie Stewart said, "It was unbelievable. It just happened so quickly out of the corner of your eye, you see the carriage up in the air, it was just seconds. The carriage was in the right-hand lane and the car was in the right-hand lane and just drove through it.”

Witnesses said the horse, named Christian, ran down street and was later caught.

Phil Henderson, of Nottingham Horse and Carriage, said, "The horse is in good shape but will still have to be taken to the vet."

Witnesses said after the crash the driver of the car was walking around. Police held him in the back of a police car. He was later loaded into an ambulance.

Stewart said, "It's hard to comprehend and wrap your head around it and understand."

Pieces of the carriage were strewn across the street. Henderson said he knows the carriage driver.

He said, "When I looked at that (the scene), I was like, 'did anyone survive through this?' But, I hope and pray to God someone survives this."

Police are looking for the other driver who driving a black Camaro.

Odom was charged with following too closely, driving on a suspended license, and open container.

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