A seven-year-old UK national girl, who had come to visit Matheran with her family, died after falling from a horse on Tuesday evening. The girl succumbed to her injuries and was declared dead on arrival by a nearby hospital.
India Gavin Mayhew was on a holiday in Matheran with her parents Gavin and Tesse and three sibblings, a brother and two sisters, when she fell off the horse at around 4.30 pm near Olympiad Race course and died. According to an eyewitness, the horse she was riding went uncontrolled and dragged the girl up to 100 meter, injuring her badly.
After the girl was declared dead, her body was sent to JJ Hospital for post-mortem on Wednesday. A forensic expert from JJ hospital said, “She died due to a head injury. During the post-mortem, we also found few other physical injury on several parts of her body.”
According to the police, they have registered an accidental death report on the basis of the victim’s parents’ statement.
“We spoke to the Mayhews at length and asked them if they feel there was any negligence by the horse rider leading to their daughter’s death. The family had no such complaint and they did not want to register any complaint,” said Rajwardhan Khebude, police sub-inspector, Matheran police station. Khebude said that the family has already left for their hometown in Sussex with their daughter’s body.
Meanwhile, Santosh Shingade, member of Matheran Ashwapal Sanghatana, said that there have been such accidents in the past. “There have been incidents of people falling off the horse in the past here and there are many factors responsible for this. Cases of teenage horse riders and attendants without a licence controlling the horses have come to light and we are planning to take action against such horse owners,” he alleged.
Following the incident, the association has cancelled the licence of Santosh Patil, owner of the horse from which the girl had fallen. “It is a very unfortunate incident and I will appeal to the municipal council to take stringent action against these horse owners and riders,” said Manoj Khedkar, local councillor.