A well-known Kiwi handcyclist is in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital after being hit from behind while out riding.

Ian Mark Walker became a paraplegic after crashing into a truck while out cycling about 10 years ago.

He recovered and took up handcycling, later completing the New York Marathon twice, in 2014 and 2017.

Achilles NZ co-founder and friend Peter Loft said Walker was also the first in their team to take part in the Auckland Marathon last year after wheelchairs were allowed to take part.


However, his mate is now in a critical condition in hospital after being hit by a 4WD while out on a training run yesterday afternoon on the rural and high-speed Pannetts Rd, near Springston, on the outskirts of the city.

Police confirmed emergency services responded to the crash at 3.10pm.

"He's out there training every day," Loft said. "I know he's been hit by a vehicle from behind so I'm presuming the person driving the vehicle was busy doing something else and didn't see Ian.

"Ian is always hi-vis. He wears bright-coloured clothing and has a flag on the back of his handcycle, so he's pretty safety conscious out there. But yeah, it's a tragic accident."

Sadly, Walker's partner, Louise, is currently stranded overseas and unable to get a flight home to be by his bedside until Saturday.

Loft said he wasn't aware of Walker having any other family that could comfort him in hospital in the meantime.

Just letting you all know our good friend Ian Mark Walker has been hit by a car while handcycling in Christchurch, Ian...

Posted by NZ Spinal Trust on Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Christchurch-based handcyclist Ian Walker is in a critical condition. Photo / File
Christchurch-based handcyclist Ian Walker is in a critical condition. Photo / File

"Louise is still overseas. From what I heard she's trying to get a flight home and can't get back until Saturday.

"And the hospital quite rightly won't give us any information because it's his personal stuff and I don't know anyone he's got in New Zealand who's family apart from Louise."


Friends had since been posting their well wishes on social media.

Spinal Trust NZ marketing manager Mike Brown wished Walker all the best with his recovery.

"Our thoughts are with Ian and his family and we wish him all the best for a full recovery."

The Trust worked with Walker after his first debilitating crash, offering peer support and vocational rehabilitation.

"We knew him well," he said.

Walker is also a former national league soccer coach.