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Horse-Drawn Carriage Accidents

Horse causes damage, takes woman on terrifying caleche ride

From Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages
April 28, 2012

OLD MONTREAL — A woman went for a wild and frightening ride in Old Montreal Saturday in a bizarre caleche incident.

A horse attached to a buggy bolted along Notre Dame St., dragging its driver for several metres, and taking off with a woman inside the carriage.

Witnesses said the horse was running at top speed through the Old Montreal neighbourhood at about 2:30 p.m.

"It was very fast, and the carriage was broken from Notre Dame. It came around 40 kilometres (per hour) fast," said one witness.

The incident began when two caleches bumped into each other at St. Laurent Blvd. One of the horses' blinders became crooked from the nudge, and so the driver hopped off the vehicle to adjust it.

Suddenly, the horse tore off at top speed, along Notre Dame. The driver attempted to restrain the animal, and was dragged for a few metres before he became unable to hang on.

The horse ripped through the neighbourhood as pedestrians jumped out of the way to avoid being clipped by the animal.

"I was coming out of the corner and I heard a (sound of horse hooves) and so I just looked and I saw a big horse coming very, very fast," said another witness.

The animal smashed in to several cars, leaving wreckage in its path.

"We saw the horse running full speed," said a witness. "It was hitting cars the carriage was falling apart, hitting cars. Then it took a left and hit those lights."

The woman was tossed from the caleche after it hit a pothole. The buggy smashed into many pieces on nearby St. Vincent St.at St. Paul St.

CTV reporter Laura Casella, who witnessed the incident, said the woman appeared to be conscious and responsive. She was treated by firefighters and Urgences-Sante at the scene and taken to hospital by ambulance.

Urgences-Sante later confirmed the woman was from Ontario and in her 60s. She suffered only minor injuries to her arm and shoulder. She also complained of neck pain.

The horse escaped the scene and was wandering through the streets of Old Montreal without its driver. The horse was eventually retrieved. No word on its condition.  

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