DART bus driver purposely spooks carriage horse in Highland Park

A Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus driver decided that his lowly existence as a bus driver was not bad enough, so he thought it might be fun to see if he could spook a Highland Park carriage ride horse by tooting his horn.

He did, and it did.

A horse-drawn carriage taking visitors around the Christmas light displays in Highland Park wrecked out in the shopping center at Fitzhugh and Oak Lawn on Sunday evening after a DART bus driver honked his horn in what many witnesses described as a deliberate attempt to spook the horses.

Two passengers were slightly injured, after being tossed out of the carriage when it hit the light pole in the parking lot after being pulled by the now scared horses. The carriage frame was almost totally destroyed from from the reins to the front seat.

The Clydesdale-style horse broke away and ran down Fitzhugh, where it was retrieved by a passenger waiting for a ride. Another witness took care of the injured passengers, but told BD their injuries were not serious. He was walking his dog past the corner when the horse bolted, and called 911 while helping the passengers.

The horse was slightly injured on the back right leg, where a mild stream of blood could be seen. By sheer coincidence, the young lady who grabbed the spooked horse is the daughter of a veterinarian, waiting to take a carriage ride with her friends.

When she called her father for advice on how to treat the wounded horse, it turned out he was in Highland Park riding on another carriage from the same company. And to prove there is such a thing as karma, the vet is from Aubrey Texas, the same town where the horses are stabled.

The vet wrapped some thick bandages around the wound, enough to hold until the horse is examined on Monday. He made an on-the-spot assessment there were no broken bones, but an artery or vein was cut but not severely. The horse was very jittery, sort of like people going into shock after an injury.

The first police scanner report went out about 840pm, with a request from a DPD officer to notify DART. But DART police (mostly officers other departments don’t want working for them) did not arrive until after 930pm. Surprisingly, the DART cops did not order BD to stop taking photographs of the scene.

The DART cops were still trying to figure out what the hell a horse is doing on their streets (insert sarcasm here), and the DPD report won't be viewable for a few days. BD is pretty sure DART will figure out a way to keep from accepting liability because a bus driver is just trying to have fun, you know???

BD’s complete set of photographs can be viewed here.

By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Safe streets