A man is lucky to be alive after a Saturday night fishing trip went wrong

 

By Beckie Wilson

beckie.wilson@age.co.nz

A quad bike passenger was left with suspected spinal and shoulder injuries after his friend misjudged the road.

Two men, believed to be in their 20s, were on their way back from fishing at Lake Ferry at about 9pm on a quad bike, when the driver, who police say was under the influence of alcohol, rolled one metre down a bank.

The bike landed against a piece of drift wood as the passenger was thrown further down the bank.

Fire crews were called to the scene and after waiting almost an hour for an ambulance to arrive, Life Flight airlifted the passenger to Wellington Hospital.

Police say the driver has had his licence suspended and will be facing charges.

The fire officer in charge Jake Hawkins said, “they were bloody lucky” it wasn’t more serious.

“They had obviously been fishing and they were riding the bike back from the lake mouth, and they were heading back towards the Lake Ferry settlement, and one of them have steered off the bank, and the bike rolled down,” he said.

“We had to put him on a back board and cart him a wee way which required a number of people.”

They were lucky the lake mouth was open, because if it was they would have been in the water, he said.

Fire crews evaluate the crash PHOTO/SUPPLIED

He could not see any helmets at the scene and was unsure if speed was a factor.

Morgan Sanderson, a Lake Ferry Hotel staff member, said “it was a very intense thing” as she sat with the injured man while they waited for emergency services to arrive.

The man who had been driving the quad bike ran up to the hotel asking for help as his friend has been injured, she said.

Mrs Sanderson said she ran down to make sure they had a cell phone to call the ambulance.

“I stayed down there and one the guys went to get blankets from the pub,” she said.

“He was in and out of consciousness… I was holding his head.”

They waited about 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

Life Flight Helicopter crewman Logan Taylor said they were called to the scene shortly after 9pm.

“When we got there the ambulance had just arrived… and family had been keeping him warm until they arrived,” Mr Taylor said.

At this stage, the man has shoulder injuries and a few lacerations, he said.

UPDATE: The injured man has been discharged from hospital.