Girl, 9, has lucky escape after being knocked off horse by Vintage bus near St Albans
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 January 2016
A horse and rider had a lucky escape after being hit by a vintage bus while out for an afternoon trot.
Chloe Daniels, nine, suffered whiplash and soft tissue damage after being knocked off her mare Puzzle along the A4147 last Sunday, January 24.
Chloe, who has owned Puzzle for nine years, had been out on a ride between Westwick Row Farm in Leverstock Green and Barley Mow stables in St Albans with three friends, who were not caught up in the incident.
The group had been trotting along the road between St Albans and Hemel Hempstead when the bus, driven by a member of the Amersham & District Motorbus Society, pulled alongside to overtake.
Suzie Ballard, 33, who was directly behind Chloe when the accident happened, described the moment leading up to the collision.
She said: “My horse spooked away from the bus onto the verge, stopping just before the ditch and pulling up.
“I was immediately behind Chloe on Puzzle. As the bus passed me, Puzzle jumped onto the verge in exactly the same way my horse did, but slipped slightly into the ditch.”
“The horse reacted by leaping away from the ditch, then realised she was now jumping towards the bus and as she tried to turn back again she lost her footing and skidded approximately 2ft off the curb [backwards], into the road, and hit the side of the bus rear end first before they both landed on the road.”
The frightened horse then galloped off, and had to be caught by a passing motorist three quarters of a mile down the road.
The bus was being driven by the Amersham and District Motorbus Society to mark 60 years since the opening of the recently closed Hemel Hempstead bus station.
Russell Fell, programme and promoter of events for the vintage bus group who was in the control room at Hemel Hempstead at the time of collision, said: “All of the drivers we have are very good and very experienced and we would hope all our drivers would have presence of mind to take care when passing anyone on horseback.
“However if the driver was at fault on this occasion then we would definitely like to know.”