A woman who helped save a man pinned under a quad bike, before later attending the funeral of a toddler, has spoken of a day of "huge trauma".

Leigh Mason says finding William (Bill) Blundell trapped was hard to forget and she is urging people in rural communities to stay on top of basic first aid training and for motorists to keep first aid kits in their cars.

Blundell lost control of the quad bike on a hill in Mangawhai on August 30.

Mason was one of the passing motorists who stopped to help.


She lives in Snells Beach but was in the area to attend the funeral of a friend's 2-year-old grandchild.

Mason stopped when she saw the hazard lights of parked car ahead.

Both Mason and the other motorist rushed to help when they saw the quad bike accident.

"I saw a pair of feet sticking out from under the quad bike," she said.

There was just a tremendous amount of blood, she said.

"It was a really traumatic experience, there was no help initially."

Mason had completed a first aid course a few months beforehand and felt like she had to take control of the situation, she said.

She tried to relieve the weight of the bike off Blundell.


"I actually heard my back go and I was still holding the bike at that point," she said.

"And I pretty much said to her [the other driver] if we are going to do this, if we are going to lift it off, we have to do it now."

After a one, two, three count the women lifted the bike off him and threw it away from them, watching on as it plummeted down into a drain.

After freeing Blundell they were able to get help from a neighbour.

"At that point I couldn't even bend over," Mason said.

Blundell was taken to hospital by the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

He had six broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a broken elbow and large grazes.

The injuries still trouble him today.

William Blundell lost control of his quad bike on a hill in Mangawhai on August 30. Photo / Brett Phibbs
William Blundell lost control of his quad bike on a hill in Mangawhai on August 30. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Shaken by what happened Mason turned down help from the emergency services staff at scene but much later on would learn she had suffered a compression fracture in her back.

She instead went along to the funeral as planned, after cleaning most of the blood off.

Mason said her life had "changed dramatically" and she had just returned to work as an administrator last week.

She did not regret stepping in to help but urged others to be prepared, she said.

"You do what you have to do when you think somebody is dying."

After the accident the Blundell family had sent her a gift box, thanking her for what she had done and they likely would not have known she had injured herself, she said.

In a rural community, when it could take half an hour for the first response to arrive, people really need to know first aid and need to be carrying a first aid kit in the car, she said.

"That is one thing I learnt from it."

The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter has attended 29 farm-related missions this year up to November 19, including one tractor roll.