IT CAME out of nowhere – and caused a catastrophic collision the unsuspecting motorist was powerless to prevent.

Dramatic dashcam footage shows the moment a runaway pony crashed into the side of a family car that was being driven across the New Forest.

The animal is visible for only a split second, highlighting the sudden and totally unavoidable nature of the accident.

Peter Jones and his wife Carol were driving along the B3054 near Lymington when the crash happened, causing £15,000 of damage to their rental Ford Kuga.

The windscreen “exploded”, causing a fragment of glass to fly into Mrs Jones’s eye.

A recent spate of pony deaths in the Forest has sparked complaints that motorists are driving too fast and should be made to cut their speed.

But Mr Jones was travelling at well below the 40mph limit when the animal crashed into the passenger side of his car without warning.

“I’d just slowed down because of the poor light but it made no difference, which just goes to show that accidents can happen regardless of speed,” he said.

The pony is thought to have been running away from a dog when it smashed into the vehicle.

Mr Jones, 72, of Carpenter Close, Lymington, said: “A witness said the animal was going flat out when it came out of the gorse.

“The pony didn’t deviate and just piled into us.

“The windscreen exploded – there’s no other word to describe it – and my wife ended up with a flake of glass in her eye. It had to be removed in hospital but luckily didn’t cause any permanent damage.

“Sadly the animal died from its injuries a few minutes later. I love the forest ponies and was absolutely gutted.”

His son, Mark Thurston-Jones, added: “My reaction when I saw the dashcam footage for the first time was utter shock. I literally let out a yelp – and everyone else I’ve shown it to has done the same.

“Drivers need to see the video because it’s an illustration of the dangers that exist in the Forest.

“Even when you’re sticking to the speed limit accidents can still happen. My father didn’t see the pony prior to the impact – the collision was totally unavoidable.

“My sister called me to say what had happened.

“When I rang my parents they were distraught – it was a very traumatic incident.”