Colombian diplomat seriously injured in Auckland motorcycle crash

By Ben Hill, Sam Hurley

Cadena Silva's Harley-Davidson alongside Buchanan's Porsche, both were damaged in the crash. Photo / Supplied
Cadena Silva's Harley-Davidson alongside Buchanan's Porsche, both were damaged in the crash. Photo / Supplied

Colombia's highest ranking diplomat to New Zealand is recovering in hospital from serious injuries after being thrown from his Harley-Davidson on to a busy Auckland road.

Juan Carlos Cadena Silva, the Consul General at the Consulate of Colombia in Auckland, told the Herald the last thing he recalls from Friday evening's crash was waking up in the middle of Tamaki Drive.

"The only thing I remember is seeing this car crash into the car in front of me ... and then I woke up and had a couple of people asking me questions.

"I don't know if I was able to brake or what? So I guess I didn't."

The diplomat broke his right ankle and left wrist in the crash, and is awaiting further surgery in Auckland City Hospital.

NZME ​group entertainment director Dean Buchanan also found himself in the middle of the crash at about 5.15pm.

He told the Herald a car came hurtling towards him as he was driving towards Mission Bay near Kelly Tarlton's aquarium.

"A Toyota coming from the other direction driving between two lines of traffic ... loses it on the corner and smashes into me."

Consul General of Colombia Juan Carlos Cadena Silva is "lucky to be alive" after the crash. Photo / Supplied
Consul General of Colombia Juan Carlos Cadena Silva is "lucky to be alive" after the crash. Photo / Supplied

Buchanan said Cadena Silva's motorcycle careened into the side of his car, sending the diplomat flying through the air and over the top of the car.

Leaving his car through the passenger door, Buchanan said he could see Cadena Silva lying on the ground.

He quickly rushed to help, holding Cadena Silva's head and stabilising him until an ambulance arrived. Buchanan himself suffered minor injuries in the crash.

"I used to do a lot of kart racing and I could see it coming, I knew it was coming so I was prepared for it ... and it hit, man did it hit."

He was surprised Cadena Silva survived the crash, such was the force of the impact.

"[I don't know] how he wasn't killed..."

Buchanan said despite his apparent serious injuries, Cadena Silva was more concerned about the state of his Harley-Davidson. Buchanan's Porsche was also seriously damaged in the crash.

Cadena Silva, who has ridden motorcycles since he was 13 and often rides for fun on a Friday, said he was travelling to St Heliers to meet his wife and two children for ice cream.

He said his diplomatic post, which began in April 2013, was due to end this year.

"Sadly this is not the summer I would like to have as my last summer in New Zealand."

A police spokeswoman said the "car that is suspected to have been at fault spun out and hit a motorcyclist".

She said inquiries were ongoing and police were awaiting the results of the driver's blood tests.

A St John spokeswoman said two ambulances responded to the crash, and its staff treated three patients - one in a serious condition, one with moderate injuries, and one with minor injuries.​

The two most seriously hurt - the diplomat and the oncoming driver - were taken to Auckland City Hospital.

- NZ Herald

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