ABILENE, TX — A day that is meant for fun and celebration quickly turned with a state senator jumping out of a runaway horse-drawn carriage at the annual ‘Western Heritage Classic’ parade.
The streets of downtown Abilene were flooded with spectators to enjoy one thing, the parade on Thursday afternoon.
This year there was a new addition never seen before, said Rochelle Johnson, General Manager of the Taylor County Expo Center.
"We had motorcycles that were at the very end of the parade,” said Johnson.
Johnson is one of the festival officials, they decided to diversify the parade this year by adding motorcycles for the first time.
"They intersected underneath an overpass between north and south at Pine street,” said Johnson.
Also at that intersection was Texas State Senator Dawn Buckingham and her policy aide riding in a horse-drawn carriage along with the driver.
"The noise from the motorcycle spooked the horse and the horse bolted with the buggy," said Johnson.
This caused ‘a wild runaway ride' as Senator Buckingham said on Facebook, 'my policy aide Adrian Piloto and I jumped out for safety and ran to her aid. We're fine but our driver was taken the hospital.'
"Senator Buckingham jumped out knowing that's the best thing to do,” said Johnson. “The driver of the buggy fell out, I believe."
The driver was Evadean Owen from Bellview, TX. Senator Buckingham visited Ms. Owen at the hospital and says she 'is recovering nicely from yesterday's Western Heritage Classic parade accident.'
"The horses that were involved are okay,” said Johnson. “There was another lady that tried to stop the runaway horse and she got cut right here on her chin. I saw her today and she is okay."
This is the first and last time festival officials will allow motorcycles in this parade.
"Safety and concern to the spectators and the participants 'oversees' that primary goal of keeping the event authentic,” said Johnson.