A Hastings motorbike rider has narrowly avoided decapitation after hitting a wire strung across a popular riding track.
Stacy Howie's chest hit the wire, strung between two trees on the Carrick Rd track near the Ngaruroro River, on Saturday, flinging him from the bike.
"It would have definitely taken my head off if it had hit me ever so slightly higher," said an angry Howie.
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A Hawke's Bay Regional Council ranger has headed to the area to check no other hazards are strung up, and police have been notified.
A police spokeswoman said anything of this nature should always be reported to police.
"We would certainly recommend that anyone who comes across anything suspicious get in touch with police on 105," she said.
Howie suffered injuries to his neck, chest, shoulder, wrist and ankle after hitting the wire about 2.30pm yesterday.
"I was driving pretty quick on my dirt bike and instantly got flung off and rolled backwards onto my ankle," he said.
"I struggled to breathe and then realised a wire had been tied from two trees across the path.
"I could've died if it hit my neck first on first impact instead of my upper chest."
Howie was mystified as to why someone would put riders in danger. He said his family and friends often used the tracks, but had never come across this.
"I cut the wire down so it can't harm anyone else. But there could be more."
"To be quite honest I'd love to get my hands on them," Howie said.
"They are makeshift tracks, but it's all public access and friends and family of mine have been riding there for years." Chris Dolley, the HBRC asset management group manager, said the council is "appalled" at what happened to Howie and will act with urgency to establish what has happened.
"Unfortunately this area is well known for antisocial behaviour and this sort of thing is very concerning," he said.
"Our ranger is contacting the police and is heading to the area to remove any wire he can find."
Dolley said it reinforced the need for greater surveillance along Hawke's Bay rivers and accessways.
The tracks are also frequently used by mountain bikers.
Hawke's Bay Mountain Bike Club said such hazards were not common.
"I am just sad to hear that someone would do that," a spokesman said.
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