Elderly driver kills horse

The owner of horse, which was hit by an elderly driver and later had to be destroyed, is calling for a change in the current driving laws.

Charlie, a 16.1hh 8-year-old bay TB, was owned by Diane Hicks from Brixworth in Northampton. The gelding who was described as “anybody’s ride”, had been with the family for three years and regularly competed in show jumping and cross country.

On the day of the accident (Tuesday 8 July), Charlie was being ridden by Diane’s friend Estelle Fioravan along a country road in Northamptonshire.

The pair were riding two abreast on Ravensthorpe Road when an elderly female driver in a Nissan Micra ploughed straight into Charlie and continued driving for another 100m before stopping.

“I was on the inside riding Krystof, and Estelle was on the outside riding Charlie,” explains Diane. “We heard a car approaching from behind and then I saw Estelle being flung off and Charlie being carried on the bonnet of the car for about 20ft before he fell off onto the side of the road.

“The car driver just stayed on the road as if Charlie wasn’t there. She made no attempt to slow down or brake and there weren’t even any skid marks on the tarmac,” she adds.

The driver eventually stopped and pulled into a driveway about 100m from the scene of the accident. Diane rushed to check on Estelle, who was lying in the road, while a van driver who had witnessed the accident went to get the car driver’s details.

“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” says Diane. “Shegot out of her car, looked at Charlie, who was lying thrashing in the road, and then got back in her car as if she was going to drive off.

A retired vet who was passing the scene stopped and told Diane that there was nothing that could be done to save Charlie.

“He looked at Charlie and just shook his head, I couldn’t bear to see him lying there, so we called friends from the Pytchley hunt who came and put him to sleep and took him away.”

Diane wants to see a change in the driving law which currently allows people to simply reapply for their license at the age of 70 without having to take a test or undergo a medical.

“I want drivers to re-take their driving tests at the age of 70 to prove they are competent on the road and undergo yearly medical and eye tests to ensure they are safe to drive.

“I am very hurt and angry that this has happened and want to try and stop this type of accident happening again.”

A police spokesperson says: “Investigations into this incident are now complete and a decision on whether the driver will be summoned is yet to be made.”

Estelle, who suffered severe body bruising and a sprained wrist in the accident, is reported to be recovering well.

Picture by Paul Colebrook and by courtesy of the BHS.

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