TWO teenagers are in hospital after they were thrown from a horse and cart when a passing car sounded its horn.
A 17-year-old girl suffered head injuries in the fall while a 16-year-old boy sustained serious injuries to his body.
Police are today trying to trace the driver of the car who spooked the horse then drove off from the accident scene at the junction of St Luke’s Road and Front Street, in Ford Estate.
The Echo understands the injured 16-year-old is the grandson of Sunderland City Council leader, Councillor Paul Watson.
Police and paramedics were called to the junction at 9pm on Thursday following reports of the accident.
Northumbria Police’s Roads Policing Unit is now investigating. Residents living in St Luke’s Road say they are used to seeing horse and carts on the road and that drivers are normally respectful of them.
Janet Smart, 61, said: “I’ve seen the horse and traps coming up and down here, and I know they slow the traffic down, but they’re never any bother.
“It’s terrible these kids have been hurt, I hope they’re both going to be all right.”
Irene Martin, 58, who was looking after her grandson, said: “It’s a bad road down here.
“The cars drive too fast and you get the odd one frustrated when the pony and carts get in the way. Most people are really respectful though.”
Last summer, residents in Ford Estate told the Echo that children as young as 10 had been seen in St Luke’s Road in control of pony and traps.
One man described how his wife came home “terrified” after a pony and trap mounted the pavement as she walked along Hylton Road pushing a pram with a young child.
An AA spokesman said horse and cart riders do not need insurance or a licence to use them on the roads.
Northumbria Police are appealing for information following the crash.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pc Mukhtar at the Roads Policing Unit in South Shields, on the 101 non-emergency number.