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Downed power line sweeps cyclist off bike

A Carterton man is lucky to have escaped severe head injuries after being clotheslined by a metre-high power cable while cycling down Masterton’s Stronvar Rd yesterday morning.

James Lynch was travelling just past the Lees Pakaraka intersection toward Te Ore Ore Rd at an estimated 50kmh when he was suddenly swung off his bike. He landed on his right shoulder.

When he got up off the ground, he discovered a power cable suspended across the road at neck height.

“I was riding on my own at the time. It all happened so fast my first recollection was of me hitting the road. [The power cable] had caught me under my neck as I was biking along.”

No warning signs were in place at the location to indicate that a cable was slung across the road at neck height.

The incident was witnessed by fellow cyclist Paul Wallace, who was close behind Lynch.

“[Lynch] had just gone past me at a good speed as I was coming out of Pakaraka Rd,” Wallace said.

“Then all of a sudden, he just fell off his bike in the most unusual way, followed with a great big howl.”

Wallace said he slowed down and pulled up to check on Lynch but was astonished to find two power cables in front of him.

“They were thick and grey, so you couldn’t even see them,” he said.

“If it was a smaller cable, it would have taken his head off. That’s how serious it was. If it wasn’t him, it would have been me.”

After recovering, Lynch and Wallace then stopped traffic to prevent motorists and other cyclists from hitting the cable.

They eventually saw contractors a couple of hundred metres away working on the power cables.

The workers were from Power Related Services [PRS], and they were doing a job for Powerco.

Powerco said it was aware of the incident.

“The company is investigating the incident as a matter of urgency,’’ Powerco’s general manager of health and safety Julie McAvoy said.

“We’re relieved to hear that no one was seriously injured. We take public safety incidents extremely seriously.”

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