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Motorbike stunt goes wrong

A teenage patient was flown to Wellington Hospital after a motorbike stunt turned into catastrophe in Hinakura.

Emergency services responded to reports of a serious medical incident in the South Wairarapa settlement at 5.30pm.

Initial reports indicated the teenager was injured after a motorcycle stunt went wrong at a rural property.

Emergency services later confirmed that the teenager suffered a bad fracture, among other injuries, and noted it was incredibly fortunate they had been wearing a helmet
at the time of the incident.

Martinborough Fire Brigade’s first response unit, Wellington Free Ambulance, and Life Flight Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded to the event, with the helicopter transporting the patient to Wellington.

Life Flight crewman Scott Palmer said the possibility of a spinal injury saw first responders taking extreme care.

“The patient was in pain, and a bit concerned, so plenty of reassurance was given and full precautions were taken in case of any spinal injuries – without an x-ray machine to check, the neck collar goes on.”

Palmer said the incident ticked a few boxes for Life Flight’s response.

“Reasonably remote out in the country, with a motorbike, you don’t know what is going on, externally or internally.

“Time is of the essence.”

He said the flying conditions were challenging, with the helicopter forced to fly beneath low cloud.

“The travel time from the hospital was about 20-25 minutes. It’s faster than going by road, by a long margin.”

Palmer said the incident demonstrated the value to South Wairarapa of Martinborough’s first response unit, which was first on the scene.

“Big shout out to them. They did a fantastic job.”

Wellington Hospital was contacted, but could not provide a status update on the patient yesterday.

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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