The sun was out and the early morning sky was clear and blue as it often is in the Central Plateau Region. Adam McGregor was in Taupo and looking forward to riding in a dirt bike event on a sunny Saturday in June 2021.
“I headed off to rendezvous with my riding buddy Trev. We’ve been riding for over 10 years together, mostly on the road on sports bikes at first, but then Trev introduced me to the world of dirt bike trail riding.”
It was a popular trail event that Saturday, and so Adam and Trev took their time to warm up on the practice loop.
“We always picked the novice loop as the first run, to warm up the bikes and the body, check out the terrain and traction, ready to take on the more advanced stuff. We then tried out the middle loop. Sections of that loop became increasingly hard and rutted, hard pumice gravel spraying around so I made sure to keep my distance from Trev in front of me.”
Adam’s confidence had grown so he dropped down a gear, opened the throttle and that’s when it all went horribly wrong.
“I accelerated and started to catch Trev and others in front of me, but I was getting too close, I rolled off the throttle, but nothing happened, I didn’t slow down. I hit the rear brake and started to pull in the clutch, but things happened so quickly. Nothing seemed to reduce the speed, and the bike went down.”
“Flying straight over the handlebars and landing face first and on my right collarbone in the rocky pumice and sand, I rolled straight onto my back and backpack filled with water, tools, and the compulsory fire extinguisher. The impact was hard and took the wind out of me.”
With the help of the trail ride medic on site to help stabilise Adam, and with no way out of the forest quickly, the TECT Rescue Helicopter was soon on its way. “The resonating thud, thud, thud of the rotors got louder as it approached, and the down draft blew debris around.”
“The rescue helicopter couldn’t land next to me as the ground was too uneven, so they had to touch down a short distance away. Dave TECT’s Critical Care Flight Paramedic (CCFP) came and introduced himself to me. After assessing me, Dave explained that they would have to winch me out and fly to a flat, safe area to load me into the chopper for extraction.
As a mini hospital in the air, CCFP Dave could administer oxygen and scan Adam’s chest en route to the hospital saving valuable time when Adam got to hospital.
Adam suffered multiple fractures of his T2 vertebrae, 4 ribs and clavicle, as well as puncturing his right lung. Adam has had a lengthy and complicated recovery.