A speedway photographer struck by an out of control stockcar has finally been released from hospital – almost six months after the incident that nearly took his life.
John Sprague was critically injured in the January 13 incident at Auckland's Waikaraka Park.
He suffered life-threatening injuries and the speedway community rallied around his family. An online fundraiser generated more than $10,000.
WorkSafe NZ is investigating.
Sprague was finally released from hospital on June 29.
He did not want to talk about it and his ongoing recovery. But in a post on a Facebook page updating well-wishers, Sprague wrote: "It's just a few days short of six months in hospital. This is my first day at home.
"Finally can get some decent rest with no hospital nosies [sic]. I still have a long road of physio for my recovery which I'll be working really hard at."
Waikaraka Park Speedway president Frank Irvine described the crash as a "freak accident".
Talking to the Herald the day after Sprague was injured, Irvine said he understood the stockcar's gear box had blown up and bits stuck on the brake panel "causing the vehicle to veer off the track".
"The photographer was standing where he should be, but the out-of-control vehicle must have got him in the back. At the end of the day, this is a freak accident."
An eye-witness described Sprague – a Henderson businessman and popular speedway photographer - being flung 10m in the air and landing on the track's infield.
Irvine was pleased to hear Sprague was finally out of hospital.
The speedway community would support the Spragues however it could.
"Everyone has rallied around him," Irvine said. "We just had our annual prize-going and did another collection for him ... to help him out."
Speedway NZ had appointed the club a lawyer as the WorkSafe investigation continues into the incident.
"We are just waiting to hear from him," Irvine said. "The investigation is still ongoing."
WorkSafe said it could not comment on the investigation.