Originally posted at 11:28 a.m. March 22, 2014. Edited with new details. An initial report that the horses were Clydesdales was premature. Capt. Concialdi said he now knows them to weigh between 1,800-2,100 pounds.
A carriage pulled by two large horses in the Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano has careened into the crowd, injuring three -- one moderately.
Orange County Fire Captain Steve Concialdi confirmed a call came in at 11:08 a.m. that a carriage and two horses ran into the crowd, injuring three -- one of them seriously.
The trauma patient was transferred to Mission Hospital.
Spectator Rick Moore said the incident happened at the start of the parade, on Ortega Highway just east of El Camino Real. One of the two horses pulling the 11th or 12th entrant in the parade, a wagon, spooked, bolting right into the crowed.
"I thought it was coming right at us," Moore said. Everyone scattered.
"There was a gentleman in a wheelchair who couldn't get out of the way," Moore said. He saw an injured woman as well.
Concialdi said the man in the wheelchair is a double amputee, 52 years old, The horse ran into a sign, knocking the sign into the crowd. The man fell out of his wheelchair and then the horse fell onto him.
"The man had mostly facial injuries: two black eyes, abrasions to face and hand," Concialdi said.
Also injured was a woman in her early 60s. She was also transported to the hospital with an injured knee, he said.
A third person, a woman in her 30s, received bumps and bruises but declined to go to the hospital, Concialdi said.
The parade was initially stopped but has resumed around 11:40 a.m..