An accident involving a one-horse open sleigh sent two people to the hospital last night.
The accident occurred on County Road 552 when the horse-drawn sleigh, traveling northward at a relatively high rate of speed, encountered a snow bank, causing the two occupants to become upsot. Both occupants were treated and released from the county hospital. Although the driver of the sleigh was not identified, the passenger was named as Miss Fanny Bright, 20, of North Winesap.
“Our cheeks were nice and rosy, and comfy-cozy were we,” said the sleigh’s passenger, Miss Bright, describing the moments leading up to the crash. “We were snuggled up together like two birds of a feather should be. Then the next thing we knew we tipped over and we were up to our necks in snow.”
The horse was taken to a local veterinary hospital and was said to be in stable condition.
The accident is being investigated by the NTSB as part of its ongoing effort to highlight the importance of proper vehicular safety features. “We don’t care how much fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh,” said Hector Barleyoats, the lead investigator for the NTSB’s local office. “Sure, there weren’t any serious injuries in this case, but if things had been different they’d have been singing a different tune. These one-horse open sleighs often lack the most basic safety equipment. No seat belts, no air bags–and as this case clearly demonstrates, no rollover protection–and no audible collision warning system. Someone in one of these sleighs would only hear bells. Bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells–just the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.”
Miss Bright, the passenger, acknowledged the relative lack of safety features but wondered how making such equipment mandatory would alter the experience. “Would one horse even be able to tow all of that around? Somehow the notion of riding in a two-horse enclosed sleigh with complete rollover protection doesn’t sound quite as fun.”
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