Police were called around 6am this morning to a serious collision on the A127 near to Pound Lane in Wickford that resulted in the closure of the road on the London bound carriageway. The road was closed while emergency services dealt with the scene.
The incident involved three horses who had got loose and were on the road when they were struck by at least one car. The three horses escaped from a field and were feeding on the grass in central reservation of the A127. They became spooked by traffic and ran into the road.
A further three cars and a lorry were involved in subsequent collisions. Firefighters from Rayleigh Weir were required to cut one male driver free from his Nissan Micra car and he was taken to Basildon hospital with a serious head injury. His condition is not thought to be life threatening.
The other drivers were shocked but with minor injuries.
Two of the horses died and vets were called to the scene. One was killed instantly, another was seriously injured and had to be put down and the third was unharmed.
Leading Firefighter Phil Owens said: “It was a terrible scene. The horses had got out of a nearby field and gone into the road where they caused this collision. The roof had been almost entirely torn off the first car which hit with the horse. Both horses died as a result of this, one instantly and the other had to be put down by a vet.”
Police officers have also said that it was a “distressing and disturbing scene” as the dead horses had been very badly injured and any witnesses who have been affected are recommended to seek professional help and counselling.
The road had been closed between Pound Lane and the A130 with queues as far back as Rayleigh. The Alton Garden Centre, near to the accident was also closed this morning but has now re-opened.
Any witnesses to the collision are asked to contact PC Helen Byatt at Laindon Road Policing unit on 101.