Saleyard injury critical
A man suffered critical injuries after being ‘‘flattened’’ by a cattle beast at the Matamata Saleyards.
The 54- year- old Waharoa man was herding cattle up a chute and on to the top deck of a truck when one of the animals turned and rushed down towards him, knocking him head-first on to the ground about 3pm on Monday, June 4.
He was in a critical condition in the intensive care unit at Waikato Hospital on the night of June 10.
A witness, who asked not to be named, said the man was walking behind four animals when a steer at the top climbed over the other three and bolted down the chute.
The man turned to run, but he was ‘‘flattened’’ and thrown from the chute, landing head-first on the ground.
St John Hamilton team manager Ray Bestwick said the man had suffered critical head and chest injuries.
He was treated at the scene before being flown to Waikato Hospital.
Elders Livestock Matamata agent Danny O’Leary had been at the saleyards earlier in the day and said news of the accident had come as a shock.
‘‘We pretty much pride ourselves in running a pretty safe ship there and sometimes the cattle beasts just do what they want to do unfortunately,’’ he said.
He confirmed that the injured man was the manager of the saleyards.
The stock sale had finished 1.30pm.
Loading the cattle would have been the man’s last job before hosing down the yards and heading home, he said.