Four people riding in a horse-drawn wagon were injured – one of them critically – when it struck a motor vehicle and telephone pole Sunday night in Clinton.

“It was a freak accident,” said Clinton police Officer Phil DiLuca, one of several local and county officers who responded to the scene of the crash.

DiLuca said a loud noise, possibly from a nearby tow truck that was unloading a car, spooked the two horses. The person driving the wagon lost control of the horses, which ran off.

Police said the wooden wagon struck a motor vehicle and a telephone pole on Water Street before coming to rest. The crash took place around 7:30 p.m.

One person had to be flown by LifeFlight helicopter to a hospital with critical injuries while the other riders were taken to local hospitals for treatment of what appeared to be less serious injuries, according to DiLuca.

The names of the accident victims, their ages, addresses and their injuries were not available Sunday night. Two of the riders were women.

Members of the Amish community are known for riding in horse-drawn buggies, but DiLuca said he is fairly certain that the four people involved in Sunday night’s crash were not Amish. The horses that ran off were located.

The accident remains under investigation by the Clinton Police Department and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Clinton is a small, rural town north of Waterville bills itself as the dairy capital of Maine. Its five dairy farms account for 17 percent of the state’s dairy production.

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