Desert Hot Springs, CA
A horse rider is recovering today after being struck by a Sun Bus in Desert Hot Springs. The horse was then hit by several vehicles and did not survive.
Desert Hot Springs police said an equestrian was trying to cross Palm Drive at 20th Avenue Monday night on a horse, when the bus struck the rider and animal.
"The rider was thrown. The horse then ran into the north bound and south bound lanes where it was struck by another two cars," said Desert Hot Springs Deputy Chief Jim Henson
The rider was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.
The owners of Willowbrook Equestrian Center said it’s not surprising the horse got hit, since Palm Drive is such a busy road.
"It’s happened before in that same area, so it’s not too shocking," explained LoriLea Franklin. "It’s a busy road. The speed limit is 55 to 60 MPH, four lanes, and there’s lots of cars," she added.
She said the best thing to do is not cross busy streets on a horse because horses can easily spook.
"When they spook, a rider and a moment of inattention may come out of the saddle, and as soon as the rider comes out of the saddle, the horse is riderless and will look around with some confusion and head straight home," said Donald Franklin, who works with horses.
Franklin said the best thing drivers can do is be alert.
"People could flash their head lights on and off, and honk or put their flashers on to at least alert people on the road."
Police said horse riders have the same rights as cars on the road. So horse experts said riders really need to be cautious and look both ways before crossing.