Driver convicted after horses put down in road collision

  • A woman has been convicted following a collision in which two riders were injured and their horses fatally injured.

    Karen Higgins, 36, from Orchard Close in Normandy, was found guilty of driving without due care and attention following the incident which happened on Westwood Lane, Normandy on 26 November last year.

    Higgins, who pleaded not guilty to the charge when she appeared in court in July, appeared at Horsham Magistrates’ Court yesterday (15 October). She was found guilty and received five points on her driving licence and a £600 fine. She will also have to pay costs.

    One of the riders involved, a teenage girl, sustained minor injuries in the collision, while the other, an adult woman, was more badly hurt and had to spend time in hospital as a result.

    Surrey Police said both the horses had to be put down at the side of the road, owing to the severity of their injuries.

    The force’s wildlife and rural crime coordinator PC Laura Rowley said: “This was a clear, bright autumn morning, but the driver failed to take account of the dazzling low sun with tragic consequences.

    “The rural roads of Surrey are for everyone, so I ask everyone who uses them to anticipate other road users – whether on two legs, four legs, two wheels or four.

    “If you are passing a more vulnerable road user; such as a horse, pedestrian or bicycle; slow down and pass them wide – if there isn’t space to pass safely, hold back and wait. Take time to make sure they are aware of your presence, and don’t make any surprise noises such as gear changes or horns.”

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