Woman dies after Nowton Park horse horror

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THE woman injured after a horse and carriage ran into a crowd at Nowton Park Country Fair has died.

The 57-year-old from Bury St Edmunds was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital from the park on Sunday with serious injuries and died this morning.

Eyewitnesses said the horse bolted down the Bury St Edmunds park’s lime tree avenue, which was lined with stalls and crowded with people.

DCI Nick Bennett said at the scene yesterday evening that the police were waiting for the Health and Safety Executive to arrive.

He added: “There has been an incident involving a horse and carriage during the course of which several people were injured including one lady who has been taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Her injuries are potentially life threatening”

At least seven people were taken to West Suffolk Hospital, all were treated and discharged.

Ruth Brighton and her mother Carol Ortega, who run the Bury based Fairy Cahoots card and gift business, saw the carriage hurtle past their stall. Ms Brighton said: “Unfortunately there was a mass of people watching a demonstration at the bottom and they got no warning.”

Mrs Ortega said: “The horse hit a man and knocked him down and he was dragged with the carriage. The horse went down on his knees – I’m sure he was trying to stop. It was horrendous. It was an awful end to a lovely day.”

The pair saw people diving out of the way as the horse ran past, including a woman who threw herself from a wheelchair. In the chaos that followed an angry man from the crowd hit the horse.

“That broke my heart,” Mrs Ortega said. “I told him to leave it alone.”

The horse, the Breton grey seen here in the picture, was from the company that recently started running carriage rides around Bury, but they were using a smaller carriage than the two-horse vehicle they use in town, drawn by a single horse.

Police said the owners were not available for comment pending the Health and Safety investigators’ arrival.

This is believed to have been the first serious accident at the annual country fair, which has been organised by St Edmundsbury Borough Council for 22 years.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to call them on 01473 613500.