Bungy stalwart in bike accident
Crash claims life of ‘quiet doer’
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.
Tribute: Amemorial to Queenstown man Tony Middendorf on the Crown Range.