Three hurt after car hits horse-drawn carriages

Monday, April 19, 2010
Car hits horse carriages in Center City

Three people were hurt after a car plowed into a group of horse-drawn carriages Monday morning in Center City.

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. at 6th and Race streets.

Investigators say three carriages were travelling in a row down 6th Street on their way from the stables in Northern Liberties to the Independence Mall area when the crash happened.

A witness, who didn't want to be identified, says it looked like the driver of the car deliberately slammed into the carriages.

Police have identified that driver as 70-year-old Thomas Gordon of Claymont, Delaware.

As they approached Race Street the driver of the rear carriage, Jane Stansburg, motioned for Gordon to back off when he got too close. He did for a moment but then, the witness says, he tapped the back of the carriage twice with his car.

Then as the light turned yellow, the witness says Gordon revved his engine and shoved the rear carriage right across the intersection hitting the other two.

Stansburg landed on the grass and lay motionless with a back injury. The driver of the carriage in front of her, Brian Lasler, was thrown onto the sidewalk and suffered serious head injuries and a broken arm.

Stansburg and Lasler were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Another driver, Kimberly Moak, had a minor leg injury.

Gordon apparently told police he has diabetes and had a seizure, leading to the crash.

So far, the police haven't filed any charges against Gordon, pending a medical and toxicology evaluation. He was taken to the hospital after the crash.

The horses pulling the carriages were not seriously hurt, however one did have cuts and scrapes to its side and leg. The horses got loose after the crash, but workers from the carriage company rounded them up.

The carriages are designed to release the horses automatically if there's an impact or the carriage flips.

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