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Horse-Drawn Carriage Accident

Carriage crashes on Aspen street

Charles Agar
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
March 13, 2008

ASPEN — A family’s horse-and-carriage ride through downtown Aspen on Wednesday turned ugly when their horse spooked and the carriage overturned, spilling the driver and family of five onto the street.

A 5-year-old child was trapped in the overturned carriage briefly, and another child was thrown to the pavement, according to Aspen police.

Two members of the group were taken to the Aspen Valley Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The horse was not hurt.

The mishap came after a driver for Aspen Carriage and Sleigh pulled his carriage to a stop in front of Wells Fargo Bank on the corner of Hopkins Avenue and Mill Street shortly after 6 p.m. to allow one of the passengers to use a cash machine, according to police.

A car pulled up alongside the horse, and the animal felt trapped and backed up, tipping the carriage against the sidewalk.

Witnesses said the horse flailed briefly after it fell to the ground, but the driver acted quickly to calm the animal and get it free of its harness.

Police said a passersby jumped in to help the family get clear of the overturned carriage.

“I’m just happy that everybody’s OK and the horse is OK,” said Aspen Carriage and Sleigh owner Bryan Dieterich.

The carriage was damaged slightly in the crash.

Police said the incident was not a traffic accident.

“The carriage has an interesting place in state law,” said Aspen police Sgt. Bill Linn. “They’re not a vehicle at all. … They’re basically an amusement ride.”

No ticket was issued.

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