TWO children were taken to hospital with serious injuries after being crushed by a horse and cart.
The 18-month-old and six-year-old were getting out of a car with their parents at a fair when the horse suddenly bolted.
The animal headed for the car, trampling the two children, believed to be from the Humbledon area of Sunderland.
The youngsters became caught under the cart, with the older child dragged along the field for several minutes before being freed.
Emergency services were called to the scene and the 18-month-old boy was flown to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary by the Great North Air Ambulance. He was taken to Intensive Care where he was given emergency treatment for serious injuries to his chest, head and back.
The six-year-old was taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of North Durham with chest injuries.
A man, who did not want to be named, said: “It was a freak accident. They had just got out of the car and the mum and dad were getting the buggy sorted.
“There was a horse and cart there and for some reason the horse bolted towards the car and trampled them.
“It dragged them some way, and the older one for a number of yards. It took three men to lift the cart up.
“It’s worrying because even if these kids are ok now, this could have an effect on them in later life. You just don’t know.”
The tot is still believed to be in hospital after Sunday afternoon’s accident at the fun day in Bowburn, near Durham.
A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance said: “We received the call at 2.07pm and we flew an 18-month-old boy to the RVI with serious head, chest and back injuries.
“It took us seven minutes to get from Durham Tees Valley Airport to Bowburn and between eight and nine minutes to get from there to the RVI.
“We had an A&E consultant on board.”
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service added: “We received a report that two children had been trampled by a horse and cart.
“We took a child to the University Hospital of North Durham with chest injuries.”
Police were not informed of the incident.