An SUV rear-ended a horse-drawn carriage on Chicago's Near North Side on Monday night, throwing the empty carriage's driver and injuring four children riding in the SUV, officials said.
The crash took place around 11 p.m. at the intersection of West Grand Avenue and North Des Plaines Street, according to authorities.
Four children, all under the age of 10, were treated and released at Northwestern Memorial Hospital following the crash.
The 25-year-old driver was thrown from the carriage and injured her wrists and ankle. She was also treated and released from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said.
No passengers were in the carriage at the time of the crash but the SUV was carrying seven people, police said.
The horse, named Milo, had some scratches to his knee, but the owner of the carriage company said he is expected to be OK.
“He had a couple of scratches to knee and that was it,” said Larry Ortega with Chicago Horse & Carriage. “We took him home, took care of his two little scratches and he was fine.”
Ortega said the carriage was damaged in the crash.
“It was messed up,” he said. “Going to have to take it in to repair. I just wanted to make sure everyone was safe, everyone was OK.”
Police said Tuesday no tickets or citations will be issued in the crash.
The incident has revived the issue of whether the carriages should remain on Chicago's streets. Ald. Ed Burke has been a vocal opponent, and activist Jodie Wiederkehr of the Chicago Horse Liberation agrees.
"The horses don't belong on the street. It's hard pavement, not good for their legs or feet," Wiederkehr said.
But others believe the carriages are an important part of Chicago and should remain.
"As long as they are following the laws, why get rid of them?" Chicago resident Gary Davidson said.
Larry Ortega, the owner of Chicago Horse and Carriage, says his company has a great safety record, his horses are treated well and that it's up to drivers to slow down.
"We all need to be more cautious while driving," Ortega said.