Carriage horse dies in accident by Central Park
(New York - WABC, September 14, 2007) (WABC) -- The peacefulness of a late summer Friday night in Central Park was shattered when horses got spooked and ran wild in front of tourists and through the streets.
Police say two horses went out of control and one of them was killed.
Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues has the story.
About six protestors heckled the operators of horse drawn carriages as they passed by. On Friday night, this Central Park mainstay was the target of animal rights activists who say the accident should not have happened.
"Horses shouldn't be in traffic ... this is a two thousand pound horse probably," said protestor Elizabeth Forel.
Witnesses say someone beating a drum spooked a horse shortly around 4:40 p.m. The horse began to gallop east on Central Park South. The 12-year-old Gelding -- named Smoothie -- was hooked up to an unattended carriage at the time.
"I saw the horse running ... in full gallop," said eyewitness Chubby Seeberan.
Near the corner of 6th Avenue and Central Park South, the horse hit a tree and another horse was startled by the commotion.
"The other horse jumped across the carriage and landed on this man's Mercedes," said eyewitness Roger Watkins.
The 12-year-old Gelding died at the scene.
Members of the coalition to ban horse drawn carriages hope the accident serves as a wake up call.
In 2006, a horse pulling a Central Park carriage to a stable on the far West Side became spooked in traffic and galloped down a busy street until it collided with a car. The carriage driver was injured, and the horse had to be euthanized.
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