Kansas City police say driver error was not an issue when a carriage horse got spooked on the Country Club Plaza and had an accident Saturday night.
Police spokesman Darin Snapp said Monday that no citation was issued to the driver of the carriage.
According to the Kansas City police report, the horse was pulling a carriage with a driver and four passengers. The horse began running out of control at 47th and Wornall. It then crashed into the fence on the bridge at Ward Parkway and Wornall Road.
The driver was ejected and fell over the bridge onto the ground below. The horse was injured and lying on the sidewalk. It was eventually sedated and loaded onto a trailer, but the police report said the horse would be OK.
Snapp said the driver suffered a broken foot. One passenger had a broken forearm and another hit a shin on the pavement. Two other passengers were uninjured.
“It was just an accident,” Snapp said, adding that it was unclear what spooked the horse. “It wasn’t like the driver was driving recklessly.”
Kansas City Carriages operates the Plaza carriages and owns the horse injured in the wreck. The owners did not return calls or emails seeking comment Monday.
An online petition is calling for a ban on the horse-drawn carriages in Kansas City, but preliminary indications are that no Kansas City regulations were broken.
Still, Kansas City Regulated Industries will request a copy of the police report and do its own investigation, said Jim Ready, regulated industries manager.
Ready said his assistant manager would conduct the investigation and look for any driver error or violations of municipal ordinances. He said an example of a violation would be if the carriage was operating in very cold weather, below 5 degrees, or was allowing a passenger to sit up front with the driver. But neither of those were factors in this accident.
Ready said he has been with the city since 2003 and could not recall any other serious accident like this involving a carriage horse.
Public concerns about the horse-drawn carriages on the Plaza reached a high point in 1996, when two horses collapsed and died from disease. The city tightened its regulations after that.