August 9, 2015

Taxi commission investigates as carriage driver recovers (Hit and Run)

PJ Randhawa, KSDK-TV 10:19 a.m. CDT August 9, 2015

ST. LOUIS – The Metropolitan Taxi Cab Commission has opened an investigation into the hit and run accident involving a horse carriage driver in St. Louis.

The driver was hit around 5 p.m. Friday evening, at Broadway and St. Charles Street in downtown St. Louis.

While there is an investigation to find out if the carriage company did anything wrong, the family of the driver tells us they stand behind the carriage company, and they expect their daughter will make a full recovery.

The parents of horse carriage driver Ashley Conway say horses have been her passion since she was a child. As an adult, the 24-year-old made them her work as well, despite concerns from her parents.

“Especially when you’re working with carriages, because they do move so much slower than the traffic,” said Steve Conway, Ashley’s father.

Then, Friday evening, a frantic call from Ashley’s friend.

“She had fallen from the carriage, been run over by the carriage, and ran over by a mini van and said that she was still conscious and could feel everything,” said Kim Conway, Ashley’s mother.

“Her main concern once she was able to talk was, ‘how was the horse?'” said Steve.

Ashley is now recovering with a fractured arm and vertebrae, dislocated shoulder and severe abrasions on her legs. Her parents say it will be a few days before she will be released from the hospital.

Meantime, the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission says it’s actively investigating the incident because they say the carriage was not authorized to be on the road at the time of the accident.

“The rule is very simple under the vehicle for hire code. Carriages are not allowed to operate between the hours of 4 to 6 p.m. on any public street,” said Dan Kolde, attorney for the St. Louis Animal Rights Team.

Brookdale Farms Carriage Company owner Jerry Kirk says he hasn’t been told of any investigation and Ashley’s family stands behind the company.

“If the carriages weren’t out, he would’ve ran into a car or another pedestrian,” said Steve.

The horse carriage code is being reviewed to allow exceptions to certain regulations.

But a spokesman for the MTC says prohibitions regarding horse carriages during rush hour will not be changed.

The name of the man arrested for Ashley’s hit and run has not been released. He was found shortly after leaving the scene of the accident.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Ashley’s medical expenses.

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