Runaway Horse and Carriage Crash in Petaluma

A family party that included rides on a horse-drawn carriage ended with two visits to the ER and one visit to the vet

A wild scene from horse and buggy days played out on the streets of Petaluma Saturday when a horse and carriage driver lost control of his animal.

This happened around noon on Washington Street near the Rooster Run Gold Course in Petaluma, police said. 

Police said James Crawford, 63, from Pleasanton and his horse “Lady" were giving rides at a private event when Lady got spooked and took off running at full speed. 

An 11 year old child who was riding in the back of the carriage was thrown off when the horse hit a traffic sign. She suffered minor injuries. 

Crawford was able to hold on the reins for several yards, but finally lost his grip, according to witnesses. 

The driver of a Toyota pick-up saw what was happening and pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road.  The driver, 58-year-old Martin Sessi, told police the horse suddenly turned left just past his truck.

Lady made it, but the carriage slammed into Sessi's hood. 

The female passenger in the pickup suffered moderate injuries and was transported to a local area hospital. Her injuries are not life threatening.

The force of the collision allowed Lady to break free from the reins. She continued running into a residential neighborhood, where she was located within minutes.

Lady, an eight year old Haflinger, also suffered minor injuries.  

A police investigation is still outstanding. 

Additional witnesses are asked to contact Officer Paul Accornero at 707.778.4598 and reference report number 13-3817.

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