A COUPLE’S wedding day turned into a disaster when they were bucked from a horse-drawn carriage and into oncoming traffic.
Newlyweds James and Claire Sykes were unceremoniously dumped in the middle of the Normanton by-pass after tying the knot on what should have been the happiest day of their lives.
But instead the couple were rushed to Pinderfields with cuts and bruises to their faces and shoulders, after the horse hit a lamppost and threw them off the carriage it was pulling.
The pair had married at Wakefield Register Office just an hour earlier on Saturday.
Their four-year-old daughter Abby-Lei was also on the carriage, but was shielded from injury by Mr Sykes just before the crash.
And their nine-month-old twins Lily Grace and Miley Joy would have been on the carriage had the couple not decided against the idea that morning because of bad weather.
Mrs Sykes, 28, of Shaw Rise, Normanton, said she was left weeping in the road and hugging her daughter after the crash. She said: “I just sank into my husband’s chest and started crying. I just wanted to know my little girl was okay.
“We have both cried thinking about how bad it could have been if the twins were on the carriage too.”
Just an hour before the incident the couple had exchanged their vows.
They got on the carriage, which had been booked for them by Mr Sykes’ father, at The Pineapple pub – where they were having pictures taken following the ceremony – on the A655 Normanton by-pass.
It was due to take them towards Normanton.
But Mrs Sykes said the drivers jumped from the carriage when they realised the horse was going too quickly.
The horse began bucking and then hit a lamppost, dumping the couple and their daughter into the road.
Mrs Sykes said: “It all happened so fast. Witnesses told us they saw the horse bucking when it got out of its box so we think there was something wrong from the beginning.
“It could have been in there for hours.”
The family were furious to discover this week that the carriage operator, who they say was Lisa Duffield and keeps her horse at Allerton Bywater, was not insured.
They claim it means they will get no compensation for the accident.
Mrs Sykes added: “We will never get our wedding day back again, no matter what happens.
“But with some compensation we could have maybe had a trip away or a new photoshoot which would have made us feel a bit better about it all.”
The Express tried to contact Ms Duffield without success this week.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that officers were called at 11.52am last Saturday to a road traffic collision involving a horse-drawn carriage.