Teen in­jured in scooter crash

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

A Wai­heke mother has been stunned by com­mu­nity sup­port af­ter her teenage son was se­ri­ously in­jured in a scooter crash.

The boy was rid­ing to Wai­heke High School at about 8.30am on Novem­ber 7 when he crashed his mo­tor scooter into a sta­tion­ary car on Don­ald Bruce Road. The boy had a se­ri­ous leg in­jury and was flown to hospi­tal in the Auck­land West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter, said Wai­heke St John Am­bu­lance sta­tion man­ager Lloyd Bar­nett.

His mother, who did not want to be named, said her son had un­der­gone surgery and would be on crutches for at least three months.

‘‘But we’re happy that he will come right,’’ she said.

Some­one at the scene phoned her, so her hus­band could go to their son’s side.

‘‘What we have ex­pe­ri­enced in the last 24 hours is an amaz­ing sup­port from Wai­heke, from nor­mal peo­ple who rushed to the scene, held his hand, di­verted traf­fic, and the amaz­ing ser­vice from St John Am­bu­lance, the West­pac he­li­copter, Wai­heke po­lice and Auck­land City Hospi­tal. Some­thing hap­pened that was tragic, but the peo­ple of Wai­heke all got to­gether and did some­thing nice. I got so many phone calls and of­fers of help.’’

A res­cue he­li­copter spokesper­son said the boy was driv­ing the scooter at about 50 km/h when he struck the rear of a car and flew over the han­dle­bars. The scooter ac­ci­dent was one of two on Wai­heke that day, Bar­nett said.

High school deputy prin­ci­pal Tony Sears said the in­jured boy at­tended a scooter check and safety train­ing day run by Auck- land Trans­port at the school on Oc­to­ber 26. About 20 stu­dents ride scoot­ers to the school. Their low cost and en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­van­tages needs to be bal­anced against the risks, Sears said.

‘‘When you have an ac­ci­dent like what hap­pened yes­ter­day, you re­alise the po­ten­tial for in­jury when you come off a scooter is con­sid­er­ably higher than if you’re in a car,’’ he said.

Rid­ers of 50cc scoot­ers don’t need a war­rant of fit­ness or a full driv­ers li­cence. Sears said the lack of safety checks means some scoot­ers lack ad­e­quate brakes and some rid­ers lack knowl­edge. Many Wai­heke roads have gravel and pot­holes that make rid­ing scoot­ers more dan­ger­ous. ‘‘There are many parts of Wai­heke where a 50cc scooter is an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen,’’ he said.

Don­ald Bruce Road, where a teenage boy crashed a scooter on Novem­ber 7. ROSE DAVIS/STUFF

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