NEW YORK (AP) – A startled horse being ridden by a teenage boy on the edge of a park leaped into a roadway and collided with a taxi, throwing the boy to the ground. The horse, from a stable run by a group of black cowboys, was killed, and the boy was critically injured, police said.

The horse’s owner, Julius Stanton, said he was out riding Sunday with two boys who help him clean the stable when something alarmed the horse. One of the boys, Marquise Jemmott, 12, recalled seeing his 13-year-old friend tossed by the spooked horse, Romeo.

“The horse flipped,” he said, making whirling motions with his hands, “and the kid flew into the street, and the horse was sitting in the street bleeding.”

Stanton said he was more worried about the condition of the hospitalized 13-year-old boy, who suffered head injuries and a broken leg, than about losing Romeo, whose body lay in the Queens park covered in a blue tarp before sanitation workers could haul it away.

“The horse fell in the street over there,” Stanton said. “I went over and took the saddle off him, and the horse got up, walked over here, and that’s where he died.”

The horse, which weighed about 1,500 pounds, was from a stable run by the Federation of Black Cowboys, a club of horse enthusiasts who introduce inner-city children to horses and teach them about the black influence in the Old West.

The horse hit the taxi’s roof and broke the windshield as it rolled onto the hood before landing on the ground. The roof and windshield caved in.

There were no passengers in the taxi; the driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of trauma and hand injuries.

Police, who didn’t release the names of the injured boy or the taxi driver, said the incident was an accident, and no charges were filed.

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