Horses charge Calif. parade spectators; double-amputee injured

These two horses hurt three people when they bolted into the crowd at the 56th annual Swallows Day Parade.
CBS Los Angeles

Four people were injured Saturday in two separate incidents involving horses at the 56th annual Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano, officials said.

CBS Los Angeles reports that two horses pulling a large trailer decorated as a wagon became spooked and bolted into the crowd just after 11 a.m. as the parade stepped off at the intersection of El Camino Real and Ortega Highway, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.

The horses, with the wagon trailer attached, ran through a sign and then into the crowd, where one of them fell onto a 52-year-old double amputee who was thrown from his wheelchair, Concialdi said.

"He suffered moderate injuries -- two black eyes, some abrasions. He's going to be OK," Concialdi said of the man, who was taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.

Two others in the crowd were also injured. A 64-year-old woman who suffered knee and lower back injuries was taken to Mission Hospital and a 30-year-old woman who suffered bumps and bruises was treated at the scene and declined to be taken to a hospital, Concialdi said.

The incident caused the parade to be halted for over 30 minutes, he said.

Just after 12:10, a mini-horse pulling a chariot with a 55-year-old woman on it bolted at the start of the parade route causing the woman to fall onto the street, striking her head, according to Concialdi.

She was conscious but not lucid when taken to Mission Hospital, but her condition was not available, he said.

That incident shut down the parade for about 20 minutes, Concialdi said.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 people attended the parade, he said, adding that none of the horses involved was seriously injured.