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Horse runs into traffic; has to be euthanized

From left, Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Lee Best, Randy Laird and Guy Tuccio attend to carriage horse Buddy. Buddy got away from his handler and ran into traffic on Canal Street. He suffered a broken leg and was euthanized.(Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

From left, Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Lee Best, Randy Laird and Guy Tuccio attend to carriage horse Buddy. Buddy got away from his handler and ran into traffic on Canal Street. He suffered a broken leg and was euthanized.(Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — One of the familiar horses, which for years has taken visitors on carriage rides through downtown Natchez, collided with a car on Monday evening at the intersection of Briel Avenue and Canal Street.

The horse — Buddy — suffered a broken leg and had to be euthanized at the scene.

The passengers in the car — a mother and daughter — were transported to a Natchez hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Natchez Police Detective Jerry Ford said.

Delores Vines, owner of Southern Carriage Tours, said, “It was just an accident. It’s hard. It’s hard on the drivers because they work with them (the horses) every day. I hate it, too, for the ladies in the car that hit him.”

Vines said one of the carriage drivers had taken Buddy outside the fenced area where he was kept on Briel Avenue so he could enjoy eating some grass, but Buddy got away from him, took off down Briel and ran into traffic on Canal Street, where he collided with a car.

“He was about six years old,” she said. “We got him three years ago. We got him in Indiana from the Amish there. He was very gentle. He was a buddy.”

Guy Tuccio, who works with the horses at Southern Carriage Tours, went with Vines’ husband to Indiana to bring Buddy back to Natchez.

“He was our wedding horse,” Tuccio said. “We used him to do lots of weddings. We called him Buddy because he was everybody’s buddy. When we saw kids on the road we stopped and let them give him a carrot. He was like a big baby.”

Buddy was a standard bred horse, Tuccio said. “He was real tall and lanky…He just got away (from his handler). He was trying to do a good thing. Every two or three days we let them go out and eat some of the grass on the lot. It lets them stretch their legs.

“These horses are like our pets. We do this because we love horses. My other job is a firefighter and on a firefighters salary I can’t afford a horse, so this let’s me spend time with them,” Tuccio said. “We try to provide a service here in Natchez. Lots of kids liked Buddy.”