Four people were injured Friday, one critically, in two separate accidents on the same southeastern Minnesota highway, both involving horses.

A 12-year-old boy was critically injured when a car struck a horse and buggy carrying the boy and five others. That crash happened about 7 p.m. on Hwy. 44 just outside of Prosper, Minn., near the Iowa border. The boy was airlifted to Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wis., with injuries that the State Patrol said were potentially life-threatening.

The buggy driver, Menno Mast, was taken by ground ambulance to Gundersen Lutheran with injuries that were not considered critical. A 9-year-old boy who was in the buggy was also injured but was not taken to the hospital.

The driver of the car, Brian M. Schwingle, 42, and a 12-year-old boy in his car were not hurt. Both were wearing seat belts and alcohol was not a factor, the patrol said.

All involved in the crash were from Mabel, Minn.

About 45 minutes later, a pickup truck hit a horse that was loose in traffic on Hwy. 44, about 13 miles east of the first crash.

The driver, Tyler Solie, 33, of Mabel, was taken to the hospital with noncritical injuries.