A horse has been decapitated in a serious road traffic accident.

The animal had escaped onto a rural lane in the dark and was hit by two vehicles. The horse was struck with so much force that it was decapitated.

The accident happened on Moor Side Lane in Oxenhope, West Yorkshire, earlier this month (Wednesday 5 November) at around 7pm.

“One car was travelling towards the horse and hit it first, then the animal was struck by a second vehicle travelling in the opposite direction,” a spokesman for West Yorkshire police told H&H.

A 51-year-old man driving a BMW was treated for shock and was taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

The police spokesman told H&H that the owner, who lived nearby, was contacted and attended the scene. It is unclear how the horse escaped from its field.

Drivers are urged to take extra care when travelling on country roads in the dark, as there have been several incidents in the past couple of months.

H&H has reported on several fatal road crashes recently.

On 3 November three donkeys were killed in a crash in the New Forest, in what has been described as “the worst road accident in the area for 20 years”.

One animal was killed on impact, the other two were put down after sustaining serious injuries. One had broken a hind leg, the other had a fractured shoulder.

Last month a mare and foal were hit by a car after escaping from a field in Bolton. The mare broke a leg but the foal survived. Also in October four horses were killed after being hit by an articulated lorry in Staffordshire.

Owners are urged to check their fencing to ensure there are no escape routes for animals.

“We would always advise owners to ensure that their horse is kept in a field with secure fencing and if a horse is tethered, to ensure that he is tethered safely according to the Code of Practice on Tethering,” said a spokesman for World Horse Welfare.