On September 18, 2013, two unidentified men tore through the city of Opelousas, Louisiana, on horseback at breakneck speed. They were running the horses through the city full out, as if they were racing them. When the horses ran down South Street, the riders ignored the stop sign at Union Street, and burst into the midst of traffic. One horse ran directly into a minivan, but both riders still managed to get away.
Opelousas police chief Perry Gallow said that the two men – who were young adults or possibly teenagers – appeared to be racing each other, giving no concern for the horses.
According to the young woman driver of the minivan, she heard and saw the horses careening down the road but was unable to stop her vehicle in time. One horse literally ran into the van, smashing its head through the window of the side door and also denting the side panel. The animal reared in fright but was forced to continue running. Both fled the scene.
Fortunately for the female van driver, she was not injured although her van sustained some damage.
Gallow was concerned about the injuries to the horse especially since witnesses confirm that the horse appeared wounded and there was blood smeared on the van.
Julius Alsandor, assistant principal at South Street Elementary School and city alderman, said:
They passed right in front of our school. They were flying just like if they were racing at Evangeline Downs [nearby race course]. Something serious happened to this horse.
Continuing, Alsandor stated:
We want that horse to get medical attention. We hope the rider understands that. If not, he could [also] be facing charges of cruelty to an animal.
A veteran of over 20 years on the police force, Gallow never came across anything like this. He said,
People need to realize a horse can’t instantly stop just because you want it to stop. It was Opelousas’ most unusual traffic accident in recent memory.
He is encouraging anyone with information or knowledge of the whereabouts of the riders or the injured horse to call police at (337) 948-2500.
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