New Forest crash: Four ponies killed

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image copyrightHampshire Constabulary
image captionPolice tweeted this photo, which appears to show the vehicle severely damaged in the crash

Four ponies have been killed in a collision with a vehicle in the New Forest National Park.

The animals were hit on Thursday night while licking freshly laid salt on Roger Penny Way, Hampshire Constabulary said.

Three ponies died at the scene while a fourth was found dead later a short distance away.

In December, three donkeys were killed on the road, which is a black spot for animal accidents.

image captionMark Ferrett, whose daughter owned the ponies, said the deaths were "unacceptable"

The crash happened at about 21:00 GMT on a 40mph (64km/h) section of the road north of Brook.

The car, a Land Rover Discovery, appears to have been severely damaged in the collision, according to a police tweet, which gave no further details.

Mark Ferrett, whose daughter owned the ponies, said the deaths were "unacceptable".

He said: "I would favour a reduction in the speed [limit]. Please, everyone needs to slow down and stop this carnage."

The New Forest is one of the largest remaining areas of unenclosed land where commoners' cattle, ponies and donkeys roam throughout the open heath.

In 2019, 58 animals were killed and 32 were injured, according to the New Forest National Park Authority.

image copyrightNick MacNeill
image captionThe crash happened on Roger Penny Way, where donkeys, cattle and horses roam freely

Andrew Napthine, a New Forest Agister who helps manage the area's free-roaming animals, attended the scene of the crash, and said the male driver was not injured.

He said three of the ponies were killed on the road while a fourth fled the scene and died behind a bush.

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