Northern Ireland

Co Antrim woman tells of traumatic moment horse strikes her car after teenage rider lost control of animal

A CO Antrim woman has told of the traumatic moment a horse struck the windscreen of her car after its teenage rider lost control of the animal.

Ethel Patton said she is "very lucky" to have escaped significant injury during the terrifying crash on the Antrim Road in the outskirts of north Belfast.

"I have a vivid memory of it, every time I close my eyes, I see the horse hitting the car," she said.

Ms Patton told how she and her husband Jim had been travelling towards Glengormley on Saturday afternoon to deliver groceries to her sister when the shocking ordeal unfolded.

"We were just tootering along, we were near the traffic lights at the Whitewell Road when this horse came flying at us," she said.

"We couldn't have avoided it, it came up over the roof, cart and all, striking the car. The reins appeared to have got caught on my wing mirror too.

"The horse was on its own, no-one was in control of it.

"The windscreen was smashed, if one of its hooves had hit me, I would not have been here today."

The couple were able to get out of the car as people nearby came to their aid before the arrival of the emergency services.

"We were very lucky, Jim has a cut to the bridge of his nose and I have a cut on my finger, but it could have been much worse especially with the glass over us from the windscreen smashing," she said.

"Apparently the horse landed further up the road and was lying in agony, but I couldn't bring myself to look anywhere near it. A vet came and euthanised it."

The horse was harnessed to a two-wheeled cart, which is used for so-called sulky races.

Footage of the horse and cart travelling along the Antrim Road has been shared on social media, including clips of the animal without its rider.

The crash involving a horse and cart happened on Saturday
The crash involving a horse and cart happened on Saturday The crash involving a horse and cart happened on Saturday

Other shared video appears to show the same horse and sulky driver out of control in the Glengormley area before the crash, veering onto the footpath on the left hand side of the road and then across onto the right side pedestrian walkway.

Police said a 16-year-old had been cautioned.

"One boy, aged 16, was cautioned for failure to stop and remain at the scene of a road traffic collision and being in charge of a horse drawn vehicle without due care and attention/without reasonable consideration," a spokeswoman said.