Driver wins road accident court battle

  • Diana, Countess of Lindsay, whose driving horses were injured in a road accident, has won compensation after a long running court case with a bus company

    A carriage driver has been awarded more than £21,000 in compensation by an Edinburgh court after a bus frightened her horses.

    According to Diana Lindsay, the accident in April 2000 occurred after the spray from the wheels of the bus caused her horses to bolt.

    The bus took us all totally by surprise,” said Diana. “It sped past spraying the horses and they just bolted. There was nothing that I or my groom could do. They went for around a quarter of a mile before crashing into an oncoming car.”

    The wife of the 16th Earl of Lindsay, from Upper Largo in Fife, was driving her horses Flicker and Hansel in tandem along the A915 Leven to St Andrews road when the accident happened. It had been raining.

    Flicker, who has been short-listed for the HHO Real Horse of the Year competition for his amazing recovery from the accident, suffered extensive facial damage, while Hansel had to be retired from driving.

    Diana, who has said that she had never experienced problems with Stagecoach bus drivers before, suffered injuries to her arm, ankle, pelvis and lower back and the carriage was damaged beyond repair.

    “This is a wonderful result,” says Sheila Hardy, BHS head of safety. “Riders everywhere have reason to thank Lady Lindsay for her courage in fighting this case. It is vital motorists understand passing horses at speed and too close is a recipe for disaster.

    Eight riders were killed on our roads last year. This could prove a landmark case which will make drivers aware they could be sued for damages.”

    Lady Lindsay said: “I am delighted that the case is finally over. It has been a long hawl but it was worth it in the end.

    “On behalf of all who take horses, ponies and other animals on the road, I ask drivers to take the greatest possible care when passing. The injuries that can be caused by careless driving are deeply distressing and often disastrous. Most drivers are excellent and for thatI am grateful.”

    HHO Real Horse of the Year

    The winner of the Horse & Hound Online Real Horse of the Year award will be announced on this site next week.

    Click here to read the stories of the shortlisted horses.

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