CHARLESTON, SC – A 5-year-old girl was sent to the emergency room after a Charleston carriage tour mule kicked her in the head.
On Wednesday evening a family had just gotten off a carriage tour from the Palmetto Carriage Barn, when a five-year-old girl went to pet one of the mules. The Operations Manager from Palmetto CarriageWorks, Benjamin Doyle, told News 2, the animal got spooked and kicked her in the head.
“We tell everybody approach from the front, and this girl got by us,” explained Doyle. “A lot of kids want to go up and say ‘hello’ to the animals. The young girl approached from the side of the animal.
Doyle says the mule was sacred, kicked the young child and knocked her down.
Doyle explained the child’s injury and said, “She had a little bit of bruising and some bruising on her shoulder as well, and it was a mild concussion.”
According to a police report detailing the accident at the barn, the 5-year-old girl was treated for her injuries and was later released from MUSC.
This is the second time in less than two weeks a driving horse has been scared by their urban surroundings downtown.
Doyle said, “Because of the incident with Blondie, it’s really putting us under the microscope.”
Back on July 17th, a horse named Blondie from the Old South Carriage Company was spooked by a cement truck, fell to the hot Charleston street, and was unable to get up for hours. Blondie is okay and recovering from the fall; but some in the Holy City think it’s time for these horse tours to come to a halt.
Just last week protestors spent the day outside the carriage businesses, demanding reform for this historic industry.
With roughly 60 animals at Palmetto Carriage Works, employees say this is very rare and safety is their number one priority.
Doyle told News 2, “My sincerest heartfelt apology goes out to the young girl and her family, and the most important thing is that she’s ok.”
Tonight, Doyle told News 2 he was not sure if the family plans to press charges.
Doyle also said the company plans on changing their policies, so customers and animals have fewer interactions after the tour is over.