Farmer injured as bike rolls on hill

By nathan.crombie@age.co.nz, Nathan Crombie


A Tinui farmer was flown to Wellington Hospital with serious injuries after rolling a quad bike on his farm.

Ian Perry was yesterday discharged after spending the night in Wellington Hospital, where he was flown with rib injuries after he rolled his quad bike on a hilly area of his farm about 6.30pm on Thursday.

It was the third quad-bike accident in three months in Wairarapa, including the death of 10-year-old Kahutara School pupil Shane William White, who was killed in a quad-bike crash on a South Wairarapa farm on October 10.

A crash on November 20 involving a quad bike at a Pirinoa farm left a 24-year-old female rider with ankle injuries after her machine flipped while she was travelling at speed over flat terrain.

Earlier in the year, a 65-year-old Tinui farmer received serious head injuries after crashing a quad bike on his Rewa Rewa Rd property.

The latest Wairarapa crash came a day after 16-year-old Southland schoolboy Rowan Cai Parker was killed when he lost control of his quad bike in the Chaslands area and plunged 150 metres down a coastal cliff and on to rocks.

His death was the seventh quad-bike fatality in New Zealand this year.

Life Flight crewman Dave Greenberg said the Westpac Rescue Helicopter had flown to the Tinui farm on Thursday evening with a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic aboard.

"On our arrival we found a Wairarapa man in his 60s, who was suffering from fractured ribs and possible internal injuries, after his quad bike rolled on a muddy hill," Mr Greenberg said.

The crash had occurred near the summit of a hill and Mr Perry was covered in mud, which had made his treatment and assessment at the scene especially difficult.

"Patches of low cloud made reaching the area difficult for our pilot and the mud at the scene made it very difficult for the entire team on scene," Mr Greenberg said.

"The rescue itself took about two and a half hours but it took well over three hours cleaning the inside of the helicopter."

Mr Perry is chairman of the Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki Nui a Rua Trust and the elder brother of former Wairarapa list MP Edwin Perry, who along with youngest brother Owen Perry is a former Masterton District councillor.

Mr Perry's wife and family were with him at Wellington Hospital yesterday morning but declined to comment.

Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers spokeswoman for health and safety, said yesterday that the tragic Boxing Day death of Rowan Parker underscored "a duty to ensure any user of these bikes is appropriately trained in their proper use".

The tragedy also highlighted that not all quad-bike crashes and fatalities were farm-related.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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