Carriage rider describes hanging on for life, driver’s heroics during terrifying trip on Plaza

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- What was supposed to be a romantic date night in a Plaza carriage turned into a ride of terror. Four passengers riding in the carriage plus the driver were hurt in the Saturday night crash, and one of those riders spoke to FOX 4’s Shannon O’Brien.

One of the riders in the carriage is still in the hospital, and had surgery to repair four breaks in his arm. It`s not how the family thought a holiday celebration on the Plaza would end.

“It was terrifying. It seemed like it was five minutes when actually it was probably a minute,” Richelle Baldwin recalled.

Baldwin and her family had been planning a Plaza carriage ride for 20 years.

“Lights and shops, and was having a great time for probably about a block,” she described.

That is when they noticed the horse becoming agitated at the intersection of 47th and Broadway.

“It appeared the horse was uncomfortable. It doesn`t appear it was spooked. We were going down a hill and the carriage might have been pushing on it and it was trying to run to get the carriage off of it,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin says the horse took off in a full gallop through two busy stop light intersections.

“Seen the bridge coming up and that it was going straight for the bridge. It was pretty terrifying,” she said.

The four adult riders held on for dear life while the driver tried to control the horse. The terror-filled ride ended in a crash on the bridge at Broadway and Ward Parkway.

“We all jumped off of the carriage and my brother was screaming in pain because his arm was shattered. I looked over the rail and saw the driver down on cement,” she said.

Passersby attended to the driver. The horse was on the ground, trapped by the harness and carriage on top of it.

“It was trying to get up but it couldn't get up, so my husband got under its head and it was bleeding out of its nose, and my husband was petting it and trying to calm it,” Baldwin said.

The passengers and driver were taken to the hospital where they reunited in the emergency room.

“So apologetic, and I assured her that she steered that horse through pedestrians, she avoided cars, this scene this could have been so much more horrific than it was, and I just let her know that in my opinion, she saved more lives than she knew,” Baldwin said.

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