Woman hurt in second horse-drawn carriage crash on Taylor–Southgate Bridge

NEWPORT, Ky. -- A woman was hospitalized Friday evening after a second crash involving a horse-drawn carriage on the Taylor–Southgate Bridge in just over 24 hours .

Authorities said the carriage operator was being followed by a company vehicle with emergency lights as it traveled south along the bridge toward Newport -- part of a safety precaution after Thursday's crash .

A distracted driver then rear-ended the trailing vehicle, causing it to slam into the back of the carriage just after 7 p.m., officials said.

"Since the accident they had (Thursday), they were trying to make it safer for their drivers," Newport Police Lt. Paul Kunkel said. "They put a trail car with its flashers on traveling approximately 10 miles per hour."

The woman operating the carriage was thrown into the roadway, authorities said. Her daughter was driving the trail car that slammed into the carriage.

RELATED: Photos from the scene

Police said the horse, named Jimmy, then dragged the broken carriage without a driver. Because of its training, it stopped at a red light near Newport on the Levee.

"The horse just came walking up the street by itself, going really slow and as soon as it got to the light -- and it was a red light -- it just stopped by itself," said Dick's Last Resort employee Jill Schuler. "The wheel was completely smashed in the back. We knew something was wrong."

Deirdre Coleman, a witness of the initial crash, said she saw the carriage operator in the roadway.

“(She) was laying on the ground,” Coleman said. “She had blood on her…But she was OK. She was conscious and alert.”

Newport police officers caught up to the horse still attached to the carriage in front of the Levee shortly after. Both Thursday and Friday's crashes involved carriages owned by Elegant Carriage.

Only the operator of the carriage was injured. She was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The extent of her injuries was not known. The horse was not hurt, officials said.

Kunkel kept the horse calm as crews cleared the scene around 8 p.m.

He had only one explanation for how two carriages could be involved in similar accidents on the same bridge in consecutive days.

"It's Friday the 13th," he said.

 

 


In Thursday's crash, authorities said Tina Hemingway, 39, was heading toward Cincinnati just before 5:30 p.m. when a car struck the back of her carriage . The impact caused her to launch into the air and hang over the Taylor–Southgate Bridge's ledge.

Police say a concrete beam was the difference between life and death when Hemingway dangled from the side of the bridge.

Hemingway, from Crittenden, Ky., was taken to an area hospital for surgery. She suffered four fractures to her face, broke her left leg, fractured her pelvis and was treated for swelling in her right knee. She underwent a second surgery Friday.

WCPO Reporters Jason Law, Taylor Mirfendereski and Cierra Johnson contributed to this report.

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