A TEEN horse rider was "millimetres" from death after colliding with a lorry when the driver failed to slow down and spooked the animal.
Dashcam footage showed Grace Crofts, 15, riding her horse Bella with step-sister Ellie Jarosiewicz, just minutes away from their yard when a wagon zoomed past at about 40mph.
The clip shows four-year-old Bella becoming spooked and trying to turn away from the HGV but, in a panic, she and Grace collided with the side of the vehicle.
Grace, from Barnsley, South Yorks, said: "Me and my sister were out on our horses and Bella has been down that road plenty of times.
"Two cars overtook us and the wagon didn't slow down and carried on going at around 40mph so Bella got scared, tried to turn from the situation but we crashed into the lorry.
"It happened too fast for me to feel anything. Nothing went through my head, it was too fast.
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"My leg is killing because I've got a muscle injury [from the incident] but I didn't feel it because of the shock but after it was shaking and my boot was scuffed."
The terrified schoolgirl called her mum Zoe Jarosiewicz, 42, who raced to the scene and helped Grace home.
Grace added: "One person stopped and asked if we'd want dash cam footage and to see if we were ok.
"I called my mum because she was at the yard up the road and I said 'we've basically been hit by a lorry'."
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The terrified 15-year-old went to hospital the day after where she was treated for a muscle injury to her left leg after it had slammed into the lorry and is suffering flashbacks from the incident.
Zoe said: "It was hard to understand, she said she'd been hit by a lorry so I thought the worst, but she was on the phone. We ran down and were in shock, we were trying to be strong for Grace.
"I could have been arranging my daughter's funeral now, it was millimetres from being a different story."
Her concerned mum posted an appeal for information on Facebook and a witness came forward with the shocking dashcam footage.
"The video sickened me, we haven't slept. Grace isn't sleeping, she's having flashbacks. When I close my eyes all I can see is the video," Zoe continued.
"Ellie isn't sleeping as she saw it happen. She heard the horse scuttle and turned around and saw the horse hit the wagon. They're bewildered with it and shocked.
It's the speed, he made no attempt to slow down and that's the maddening thing,"
Grace has been around horses all of her life but Zoe says that she doesn't know if her daughter will ever feel safe again and that Bella is also traumatised by what happened.
She said: "Fingers crossed Grace will go out again but Bella is traumatised and jumpy.
"We'll have to take our time and do a lot of groundwork, she's really calm and good.
"I'm not 100% letting her out on her own. We've got an arena at the yard, thankfully."
Grace said: "Bella is good with traffic, we've been down that road before, she's good with motorbikes and tractors.
"We go out with Bella five times per week and she has two days off so she's used to it."
The Highway Code states: "When you see a horse on a road, you should slow down to a maximum of 10 mph.
"Be patient, do not sound your horn or rev your engine. When safe to do so, pass wide and slow, allowing at least two metres of space."
Now Zoe is sharing the footage in the hope of raising awareness and to educate drivers on how they should behave when they see a horse.
Zoe said: "Five seconds is all it will take to slow down and go around. It could be your child or one of your relations.
"On the quiet roads, there are stupid drivers. The busier roads are better because people have to stop and on the quiet roads people speed because they don't think anyone is around.
"There needs to be more awareness. I hope he gets suspended, he shouldn't be on the road until it's been investigated."
South Yorkshire Police have also launched an investigation.
A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: "We received a call at 7:08pm on 2 October for reports of a horse being spooked by an HGV driver on Windhill Lane in Staincross.
"The caller reported that the driver’s inappropriate driving manner while passing the horse caused the horse to spook and the rider to fall.
"The rider, a 15-year-old girl, suffered minor injuries to her leg.
"Enquiries are on-going and anyone with information is asked to provide information via the SYP website and reporting portal quoting incident number 669 of 2 October, or call 101."
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