The Life Flight Westpac rescue helicopter on a coastal mission. PHOTO/FILE

Bike crash ‘could have been far worse’

ALEYNA MARTINEZ
aleyna.martinez@age.co.nz

A teenager has received spinal injuries and several others are badly hurt after a quad bike crash at Riversdale on Saturday.

Three teens were riding a quad bike while towing a trailer filled with four other teens.

It had been going at “excessive speeds” along Riversdale Beach before it lost control and crashed at about 3.15pm, Riversdale Beach Surf Life Saving Club chairman Dave Rose said.

The trailer “jack knifed and went over the top of the quad”.

He said the young people were “extremely lucky” to be there at the same time as the Inflatable Rescue Boat [IRB] Development Weekend, which had members from 12 surf lifesaving clubs from around the Lower North Island in attendance.

Fire and Emergency, police, Wellington Free Ambulance, and two emergency helicopters were also called to the scene.

Initially, eight senior lifeguards rushed to the scene to find a young man with a broken femur and one with a spinal injury.

Others had various injuries.

“I think they were a little bit lucky that we happened to be having a training weekend here and that we could respond in the sort of numbers we could,” Rose said.

A spokesperson for Masterton Fire and Emergency said it took about 40 minutes to get to the scene and the Life Flight and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter were leaving just as they got there.

A Wellington Free Ambulance spokesperson said they treated three patients at the scene.

Two were flown to Wellington Hospital; one in a serious condition, the other in a moderate condition.

Rose said the lifeguards who were first at the scene were able to stabilise those injured, apply splints, and place two of them on spinal boards.

They were also given oxygen where required, until paramedics arrived.

A police spokesperson said one of the patients also suffered a medical event and was driven to Wairarapa Hospital by ambulance.

Rose said, given the speed the teens were travelling and the impact of the crash, “it could have been a far worse situation”.

“We knew we couldn’t shift them because of the injuries but with oxygen and just some other skill sets we just contained the situation.

“If we hadn’t been there it might have been a little ugly.”



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