Bungy stal­wart in bike ac­ci­dent

Crash claims life of ‘quiet doer’

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

AJ Hack­ett Bungy’s 25th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions in Queen­stown have taken a damp­ener with the death of the com­pany’s group lo­gis­tics man­ager, Tony Middendorf, who was killed in a mo­tor­bike on the Crown Range. Mr Middendorf, 49, lost con­trol of his Du­cati when cor­ner­ing about 5km be­low the range’s sum­mit at about 4.45 on Satur­day af­ter­noon. Mr Middendorf hit a side bar­rier and ca­reened into the path of an on­com­ing van, which was be­ing driven by a sin­gle occupant. The van driver was left ‘‘very shaken’’ af­ter the ac­ci­dent, Wanaka po­lice sergeant Paul Cross­well said. Crash investigators were on the scene un­til about 8pm that night, and the pos­si­bil­ity that ex­ces­sive speed may have been a fac­tor in the crash is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. Mr Middendorf had a two decade ca­reer with AJ Hack­ett New Zealand. He started off as a me­chanic, but quickly be­gan work­ing his way through the ranks to even­tu­ally take charge of all op­er­a­tional mat­ters at the com­pany’s Queen­stown sites. He is sur­vived by his wife Ju­dith and three daugh­ters. His sis­ter, Kim Cur­rie, said her brother was a quiet doer who of­ten played key roles in com­mu­nity mat­ters, but was happy to side­step any lime­light or recog­ni­tion. ‘‘He was in­volved in search and res­cue, and the Branches trust for school camps, and when there was flood­ing hap­pen­ing in Queen­stown he’d be there load­ing sand­bags – but al­ways in a quiet way. He was al­ways go­ing off and do­ing some in­ter­est­ing mis­sion that you wish you could go on too, and was just a great lis­tener and great talker.’’ Bungy New Zealand mar­ket­ing man­ager Katie Macpher­son said the sud­den death had shaken the tightknit bungy com­mu­nity. ‘‘This has been a dev­as­tat­ing event for our Bungy fam­ily. Tony was truly the most con­sid­er­ate, com­pas­sion­ate man and his pres­ence is and will con­tinue to be deeply missed. We will be con­tin­u­ing with the cel­e­bra­tions as planned, but will in­cor­po­rate a trib­ute to Tony and his 20 years’ ser­vice to AJ Hack­ett Bungy dur­ing the celebration.’’ The Middendorf fam­ily moved to Queen­stown when Tony was five years old, and apart from time served with the New Zealand Army, Mr Middendorf lived his whole life in the area. Mr Middendorf’s fu­neral will be held on Fri­day.

Photo: JAMES AL­LAN

Trib­ute: Ame­mo­rial to Queen­stown man Tony Middendorf on the Crown Range.

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