HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County’s Christmas parade ended on a tragic note on Saturday, Nov. 25, for a horse participating in the annual procession. Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith told Fetch Your News (FYN) the incident occurred on Main Street, near Tater Ridge, shortly before 7 p.m.
A Ford Focus, red in color, struck the horse from the rear, dismounting the rider and injuring a female nearby. The male rider suffered neck and back injuries, losing consciousness prior to airlift medical transport. The female was taken via ambulance to a nearby facility.
Chief Smith was the first responding officer on scene. The chief tells FYN the driver stated she gazed down to adjust the heater in the vehicle and did not see the horse on the darkened road prior to impact.
Sadly, the horse perished on site.
Chief Smith says he plans to work alongside Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw and Sheriff Chris Clinton to construct a plan allowing equestrian trailers to park at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, the route’s destination, during parades to avoid tragedies such as this in the future.
Georgia State Patrol is investigating the accident.
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