Taxi driver who ‘crashed’ into horse and rider blames low sun

A rider who fell on the road after a driver “crashed” his taxi into her, claiming he could not see because of the low sun, has urged motorists to be more aware on country lanes.

Donna Hooper was riding livery yard owner Tracey Giles’s 14.2hh cob Mickey at Rochester Road in Aylesford, Kent, on 2 December when a taxi minibus approached from behind.

“I felt something brush against me and then the wing mirror crashed into my ribs and my stirrup leather came off. The driver didn’t slow down, it all happened so quickly,” Donna told H&H.

“Mickey jumped forward, bucked and I landed on the road. Mickey trotted off towards the yard which was 200 yards away.”

Donna, who was wearing high-vis, said the taxi stopped ahead and turned round.

“The driver said he couldn’t see us because of the sun, but I said if ‘you couldn’t see then why were you driving so fast?’,” she said.

“He was apologetic and said he ‘loved horses’, but that doesn’t change the fact he was still going too quickly and hit us. If he had been a foot to the left he would have crashed straight into the back of us.”

Donna suffered bruising in the incident but Mickey was not injured.

“If Mickey was a bigger horse things could have been different but luckily the van just brushed against him,” she said.

“It has really frightened me and put me off riding on the road, but we need to use it to get to a bridleway. As riders we wear high-vis and I always thank drivers when they slow down but I don’t know what else we can do.”

Donna reported the incident to the police and the BHS.

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“People need to be more aware – just because it’s a national speed limit road it doesn’t mean they should drive that fast especially if they can’t see,” she said.

“I plan to speak to the council and want to look at having the speed limited lowered on that stretch of road. There’s lots of livery yards nearby – does someone need to be killed on the road for something to be done?”

A spokesman for Kent Police told H&H no further action had been taken and the incident was dealt with as a civil matter.

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