Couch leap 'stupid', burnt student says

Telford Rural Polytechnic student Matthew Scally (18) recovers in Dunedin Hospital after landing on a burning couch in Hyde St on Friday night. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Telford Rural Polytechnic student Matthew Scally (18) recovers in Dunedin Hospital after landing on a burning couch in Hyde St on Friday night. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Midway through jumping over a burning couch on Friday night, Matthew Scally had a horrible thought.

"I'm not going to make it."

Mr Scally said he remembers his foot catching on the couch and falling towards the flames.

The next few minutes were a blur as he rushed around Hyde St looking for a garden hose to alleviate the excruciating pain. Then some students came to his aid.

Mr Scally said the Hyde St residents took him into their flat and sat him under a cold shower for 20 minutes while he waited for an ambulance.

"I don't know who they are . . . but I am very grateful."

Yesterday, not long out of surgery to remove dead skin from his left arm, Mr Scally said from his bed at Dunedin Hospital he planned to thank the students when he recovered from his injuries, which could be several weeks.

Doctors told him without their quick thinking his injuries would have been much worse.

He may still require skin grafts.

The heat from his burns were a constant reminder of his injury, but Mr Scally said he hoped any scarring would be limited to his left arm, which bore the impact of his fall on to the couch.

A student at Telford Rural Polytechnic, he said he had travelled from Balclutha specifically to be part of the Undie 500 weekend in Dunedin, which he had heard "was a fun time".

He also hoped to meet friends who had travelled from his hometown of Christchurch for the event, but instead of meeting in the student area, they visited him in hospital.

Mr Scally said he did not know what made him jump over the couch, but regretted his decision.

"It was pretty stupid."

A sentiment echoed by his mother, Sue.

"What can you say." she said.



Forgotten facts for jb

If you think vandalising public property and setting fires to things is 'just having fun', well, that's pretty warped. This guy's learned his lesson, but most won't. As regards your stadium comments there was over 3000 at the anti stadium rallies, (and plenty more than didn't happen to go I know of) but more to the point, the random household survey that was sent to 4000 households had 80% against the stadium. If you still dispute that, then clearly there should have been a referendum, but the city leaders feared the inevitable result, so avoided it totally.

Riot is 100% DCCs fault?

According to JB, the riot is 100% the DCCs fault. So Dunedin ratepayers are expected to put on a concert for the Canterbury Students event? The DCC is supposed to cancel the annual Dunedin Marathon so a bunch of meatheads can wreck the Edgar Centre? 100% DCCs fault? I disagree completely.


These are the consequences of the risk that Mr Scally decided to take by associating himself with the Undie 500 mayhem that night. I'm sure he would've known about the history of the event and its associated disorder and if that's what he considered to be “a fun time” then obviously he needed to take a reality check. It is an extreme shame that this is what such people must experience before they do. If this was about meeting up with his Christchuch friends there were several places in Dunedin he could've met up with them other than Castle Street.

Yep, too harsh, and narrow minded

"It's their event". Great ownership. Great way to build the city. Some read between the lines quotes: "If you want to come to Dunedin, you organise and we'll turn our backs to you.". "We don't care about people coming here". "We want to shut the doors". I think that's what you are trying to say.
If students want to have fun then let them organise it. - they tried to. The council said no. This is 100% DCC fault, as they knew what would happen by saying no. And who is the DCC fuelled by? You Kris. People like you. On this issue anyway. On the matter of the stadium, the few of you who disagree (a mere 1000 or so), this is also fuelled by the majority, who want to see Dunedin grow, not get sucked under.

Get a grip

awwwwwwwwww jb too harsh? As to organisation - that surely should be the Christchurch campus responsiblity, after all it's their event. We now have a great space available in Dunedin at the 'brook and Iam sure the DCC would be ever so willing to negotiate or in a couple of years hand over the new stadium so the burn can continue....
why should that actually be the DCC responsibility? If students want to have fun then let them organise it.

Don't be so harsh

Geez, it's not the guy's fault - that's pretty evil re: Kris' comments.
I think Dunedin City Council could have done way more here - it's pretty obvious that if there is no planned event then there will be street parties, couch fires, fights and injuries as above.
If the council woke up and put on an event in a field, allow all people in cars to enter and have a fun event with music, keep it enclosed in a fenced area with security, then at least we'd get containment.
This guy is just a young guy out having fun, something that Kris obviously never did. Dunedin is such a stuffy city full of stuffy people.
DCC - wake up - have a planned, organised event. The only way you'll stop it is if you literally put roadblocks up, and even then people will still come, as you can't block everyone.

"what can you say"

He should personally pay for his own hospital bills and skin grafts and live with his "stupidity"  . . .

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