From The Daily Mail via NY1 Eyewitness:
I turned around and all I saw was a horse going wild with the carriage attached to it and two people were sitting in the carriage. The horse was just going crazy. There was no driver.
The driver gripped the reins as tight as he could, but the horse was too strong and pinned him against the wall.
The animal galloped along the sidewalk for several blocks in the direction of its stable before it crashed into a parked car.
The force of the accident caused the carriage to break apart and the tourists were thrown to the ground, the man hitting his head in the fall.
Oreo continued several long blocks to 9th Avenue when he was corralled by police and darted with a tranquilizer. From the site of the accident to 9th Avenue, he had to go through a crowded thoroughfare. He had superficial cuts on his face; the driver and passengers were injured. Just as in St. Louis, it could have been much worse. At one point, Oreo was running up on the sidewalk, and if he had trampled someone, that person easily could have died.
But unlike in St. Louis, there was no admission of the danger by the carriage trade. Instead the driver's error and the seriousness of the accident were glossed over, which is the norm.
"Oreo did exit Columbus Circle at Broadway," said Christina Hansen of the Horse and Carriage Association of New York City. "He made a left at 60th and a left on 9th Avenue, which is the path he takes home everyday. So he was headed back to the stable."
And this: "Those who would use and exploit this unfortunate incident to again pick up the drumbeat to 'ban the carriages' need to avail themselves of our stellar, decades-long safety and care record," said Eva Hughes, vice president of the Horse & Carriage Association of New York City.
She continued on, boldly twisting the reality into a self-promotional ad for the carriage trade: "While pedestrians and others are killed nearly everyday in New York City by cars, our accidents are not only few and far between, but we have had only three equine deaths in 30 years due to vehicular accidents, and zero human fatalities," said Hughes.
This is super spin, because there have been many accidents in New York City. Carriage drivers are not required by law to report accidents to the NYPD or the Department of Health. Many horses have died - technically many did not actually come into contact with a motor vehicle, but their death was public and tragic nonetheless. In 2007, Smoothie; 2006, Spotty and Juliet; 2011, Charlie. Those are just the public deaths since we started this campaign in 2006, and many more precede that date. It is so disingenuous to say "zero human fatalities," because New York City has most definitely dodged the bullet, for now. People have died in carriage horse spooking accidents elsewhere. In 2010, a bystander in Salzburg, Austria became the victim of a spooked horse when she was trampled on the sidewalks. This scenario could easily have happened with Oreo.
Those who speak for the New York City carriage trade continue to deny anything is wrong with what they do and they continue to make excuses, bashing and berating the Mayor and anyone who disagrees with them as liars and worse. They dismiss any criticism by saying that those detractors do not know anything about horses. Only they are the experts. They call us liars, but it is only too obvious that it is a classical case of psychological projection, besides being a campaign tactic. They claim that only they tell the truth, only they have the facts -attributing and deflecting those lies and misinformation to others.
This lack of acceptance of reality will be their downfall.
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