Paral­ysed hand­cy­clist’s sec­ond se­ri­ous crash

The Press - - News - Cate Broughton

Ian Mark Walker has sur­vived a hor­ror cy­cling crash while on a rou­tine trip on his hand­cy­cle but faces a long re­cov­ery.

The crash on Wed­nes­day fol­lows an­other cy­cling ac­ci­dent in 2006 that left Walker per­ma­nently paral­ysed.

The well­known Christchurch hand­cy­clist was on a rou­tine trip from his home near Lee­ston when he was struck by a 4WD. He suf­fered ma­jor in­juries to his head, neck, pelvis, legs and feet and is still un­der se­da­tion in Christchurch Hospi­tal.

His younger brother, Mike Walker, said it was ‘‘very early days’’ and doc­tors were not sure how ex­ten­sive his in­juries were. ‘‘Ob­vi­ously it’s been a ma­jor ac­ci­dent . . . and so he’s pretty banged up.’’

Ian Walker’s part­ner, Louise, had been over­seas and ar­rived back in Christchurch on Satur­day.

Mike Walker said Ian had al­ways been a keen sports­man who took part in triathlons but his real pas­sion was foot­ball and he worked as a ref­eree and ref­eree trainer for years.

‘‘The idea he couldn’t par­tic­i­pate in sports or ex­er­cise drove him nuts.’’

He con­tin­ued as a foot­ball ref­eree trainer for some time af­ter his ac­ci­dent but then took up hand­cy­cling which had given him re­newed pur­pose and en­joy­ment af­ter be­com­ing a para­plegic.

‘‘Pretty much ev­ery day he would do 30-40km bike rides un­less he was sick or it was freez­ing.’’

Mike Walker said his brother was mind­ful of the risks but tried hard to keep him­self safe. ‘‘He did ev­ery­thing that he could to make him­self as vis­i­ble as pos­si­ble. He wore fluro and had a tri­an­gle on the back of the bike and a big flag on the top of it.’’

Ian Walker last year won the wheel­chair sec­tion of the Christchurch marathon.

ALDEN WIL­LIAMS/STUFF

Ian Walker rid­ing his hand­cy­cle.

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