The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 26, 2012

Spooked horse interrupts Christmas events at Bedford Springs hotel

BEDFORD — A tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas parade at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort Sunday was interrupted when a horse-drawn sleigh crashed, injuring the driver and prompting Mr. and Mrs. Santa to jump off.

The driver, Ernie Alwine, of Misty Haven Carriage of Davidsville, was taken to Memorial Medical Center for injuries to his face, sustained when he fell under the sleigh.

State police at Bedford reported that the 4:30 p.m. crash occurred when two horses hooked up to the sleigh were startled when a band started playing Christmas music.

Mr. and Mrs. Santa, who were sitting in the sleigh, were able to jump from the runaway vehicle once the horses were forced to slow down by a Springs employee operating a vehicle in front of them, Pennsylvania State Police Tpr. Dana Martini said.

The woman, identified only as Mrs. Santa, sprained an ankle and was treated at UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital.

Alwine, whose injuries were not life threatening, was entrapped and dragged several hundred yards by the spooked horses.

The tree-lighting ceremony was able to continue following the interruption.

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