Carriage horse bolts in downtown Victoria, collides with vehicles

A carriage horse bolted down Government Street Friday afternoon, throwing and injuring its driver and colliding with two cars and a motorcycle.

Around 5:20 p.m., the horse and carriage were going south on Wharf Street, approaching the Victoria Visitor’s information Centre, said acting Staff Sgt. Paul Spencelayh.

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“It’s not known why, whether it got spooked by a noise or bumped by a vehicle, but it bolted south on Wharf Street,” he said.

The horse shot into the north lane on Government Street and tried to make a beeline between two cars which were stopped at the red light near the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

“The carriage was hung up and damaged,” said Spencelayh. “The impact of hitting the cars sent the driver flying out of the carriage.”

The two passengers, tourists visiting Victoria, were not thrown from the carriage and were unhurt, said Spencelayh.

At this point, the horse kept going. It collided with a motorcycle. The motorcycle rider had seen the horse coming and jumped off his bike.

He suffered minor injuries. The horse also dragged the motorcycle several feet.

The carriage driver was treated at the scene by B.C. Ambulance paramedics and taken to hospital. Spencelayh said he did not know the extent of her injuries

It’s not known how the horse was stopped, but it did stop. “The horse is fine, probably eating hay right now, just chilling,” said Spencelayh.

The carriage was placed on a flat bed truck and driven from the scene.

The accident took place on the eve of a busy Swiftsure weekend, with hundreds of people strolling downtown.

“It was a gong show down there. There was lots of traffic, but they got it cleared up pretty quickly,” said Spencelayh,

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