A trailer driver who was “ploughed into” by a motorcyclist who attempted to overtake while she was turning right has urged road users to have more patience.
Marie Helm from Northumberland was turning right off the A68 on Friday (19 April) lunchtime as she took her 12-year-old daughter Ellie and Ellie’s 13.2hh pony Cora to Little Whittingon cross-country course when a motorbike four cars behind tried to overtake and crashed into the side of her car.
Marie told H&H: “The farm is on a single-track road and it was a cross-country open day so there could have been wagons and trailers coming out so I slowed right down to make sure there wasn’t anything coming out.
“I’m a cautious driver, especially with my daughter in the car – I checked my mirrors, the drivers behind had slowed down and were aware I was turning right – my indicators were on. I turned, my car was just in the entrance to the farm and there was a massive almighty bang and that’s the first I knew about the motorcyclist.”
Marie said the incident was “truly terrifying”.
“The motorbike was upside-down and the rider had gone across my bonnet. I was stuck on the road and we had to unload Cora. Someone from the farm came and took Ellie and her down to the farm to get them off the main road,” said Marie.
“Cora could have got a real fright but she stayed calm – she’s a really good traveller. Luckily she was by herself in the trailer, my other daughter has a 16hh who isn’t a good traveller and would have absolutely freaked out.”
Marie, Ellie and Cora were uninjured in the incident.
“Ellie still managed to get round the course before we came home, we decided to go ahead and do it while we were there. I couldn’t drive my car which has extensive damage so my husband had to come with his car to take us home,” Marie said.
Marie, who wants other drivers to be aware of trailers, said she has had some “terrible” experiences towing.
“I put a post on Facebook to make people aware and someone commented saying the same thing happened to them at the same spot. It’s a notorious road – the farm has tried to get solid white lines down the middle because it’s terrible for accidents and near-misses – we don’t want a fatality before something is done about it,” said Marie.
There has been a drop in accidents but still fatalities, both human and equine
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
“I think the biker saw the traffic slow down and thought ‘I’m going to whizz past’ and didn’t anticipate me turning right. People need to think ahead, and ask themselves ‘why has the traffic slowed down?’
“People are really bad with trailers – they’ll do things like pull out in front of you so they’re not stuck behind you. What are they saving themselves, a couple of minutes? You have to suddenly brake hard which isn’t good for the horse – it could be the case they get a real fright and you don’t get them back in a horsebox again.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.