A report compiled by the city of Charleston’s Department of Livability and Tourism uncovers new details about the downtown mule carriage crash that sent two passengers to the hospital Wednesday afternoon. [content-1] Tourism enforcement officer Gerald Jackson writes that he first received a call about a carriage accident on New and Broad streets at 4:16 p.m.
Upon arrival, Jackson contacted the carriage driver, John Ragsdale of Palmetto Carriage Works. Ragsdale said that he was heading northbound on Broad when a FedEx truck turned southbound onto New Street.
“Ragsdale further stated that for some unknown reason both mules became frightened by an unknown object which caused them to lunge forward and run which caused him to lose control,” the report says. “He also stated that while the mules were running he attempted to regain control and in doing so the carriage turned to the left near Broad St. and struck an unknown object”
The driver then turned the carriage onto Franklin Street and a second carriage arrived to take the uninjured passengers back. The two mules involved in the crash and the carriage were taken back to the barn before Jackson got to the scene.
The report was released by the city early Thursday afternoon.
A later investigation conducted by Jackson revealed that the carriage hit an unknown object and veered left on the sidewalk on New Street between a low chain link fence and a power pole. When the power pole hit the carriage, the first row passenger bench was forcibly shoved into the passengers on the second row.
Brooke Langley, a passenger who sat on the third row, said the incident injured her two grandparents who were sitting on the second row.
“Langley also stated that her grandfather’s shoulder was injured, and her grandmother’s leg appeared to be broken,” the report added.
The two mules, Barack and Michelle, were uninjured, but the city’s equine manager will conduct a follow-up with Palmetto Carriage Works on the status of the animals anyway.
For the record, our sources say there is also a mule named Trump.