An 11-year-old girl has become the latest person to be injured on a quad bike, after she fell from one and was then run over.

The girl from Te Kaha wasn't the only one on the bike when the accident occurred yesterday. She was flown to Whakatane with back injuries by the Tauranga-based TrustPower TECT Rescue helicopter and was last night receiving treatment for her injuries.

Her accident wasn't the only serious incident in the Bay of Plenty yesterday - a man in his 70s was killed when he was caught in a tractor at Opotiki College.

Police said the man, who was local, was helping with repairs to the tractor, which was being used for mowing, when he somehow got caught in it about 3pm. Late yesterday, a crowd of onlookers had gathered near the scene which was being guarded by police. A tarpaulin covered the back of the tractor and a hearse arrived to take the man's bosy away about 5.30pm.


The Government's labour service is investigating and the matter would be referred to the Coroner as police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

The dead man's name would not be released until all his next-of-kin are notified. Meanwhile, another man in his 70s was seriously injured in Rangitikei, near Wanganui, after the tractor he was riding rolled down a steep hillside.

The quad bike accident in Te Kaha comes after a number of serious accidents involving quad bikes this summer, including two where people were killed. The spike in quad-bike incidents has led to renewed calls for better safety around bike use.

As well as the fatalities there have been several people seriously injured. Last week, 40-year-old farmer Nathan Cleverley lay injured for 17 hours with serious abdominal injuries and pelvic injuries after his quad bike flipped on the back of a Matamata farm.

And a 6-year-old girl received serious head injuries after the quad bike she was on crashed down a Hawkes Bay ditch on January 3. The adults were also injured and police have yet to decide if anyone will face charges in relation to that incident.