Tourists get wild carriage ride

January 2, 2009 5:03:41 AM PST
A woman and her two small daughters got more than their expected scenic tour through downtown Vienna on Thursday, when a team of unruly horses took them on a wild ride - leaving the coachman behind.

Police said the two horses pulling the Fiaker - a traditional Viennese carriage - broke away, throwing the coachman to the ground as he was about to open the door for his passengers to let them disembark.

The horses then trotted from the central Third District over a bridge spanning the Danube Canal running through the city and into the adjoining Second District. En route, the carriage scraped two cars, breaking the animals loose from the carriage, which hit another car and stopped.

Police said the passengers - an unidentified 39-year old woman visitor and her two daughters, 10 and 7 - were unhurt. The horses suffered slight injuries.

The coachman was charged with driving under the influence after a breath test administered on the scene, said police.