Emergency workers treat the cyclists at the site of
yesterday's crash. Photo / Westpac Waikato Rescue
Five top schoolgirl cyclists and their coach were hurt
when they and a car collided on a rural Waikato road while they
were training for a major competition.
The crash left the girls, all 17 and members of the Waikato
Diocesan School for Girls senior A cycling team, and their
coach, 21, in hospital last night, some with serious but not
It is the latest of a series of accidents involving cyclists
A doctor who chanced upon the crash scene at the intersection
of Lake Rd and Dawson Rd near Taupiri alerted emergency
services about 4.25pm.
"We are feeling very fortunate that we're not facing
something much worse," the principal of Waikato Diocesan
School for Girls, Vicky McLennan, said last night.
The cyclists were training for the North Island Secondary
Schools Cycling Champs, to be held in Palmerston North in
three weeks' time.
The school's most recent newsletter names the team as Maxyna
Cottam, Maddison Farrant, Maggie Allan, Brigitte Allan and
Their coach, Pip Sutton, is a former Dio student and cycling
team captain who is studying at Waikato University.
Three of the group suffered serious injuries and were
airlifted to hospital by the Westpac Waikato Rescue
Helicopter. Two others were taken by ambulance with moderate
Four of the teenagers and the coach were being assessed in
the emergency department of Waikato Hospital last night. A
hospital spokeswoman said it was "unlikely" they would be
Last night Maxyna's parents were rushing to Hamilton from
their New Plymouth home. "As soon as we got the call we
jumped in the car and started driving," her father, Jeremy,
said as his wife drove.
"We haven't heard a lot."
He understood the girls were all conscious and that their
injuries were not life-threatening.
Mr Cottam is himself an accomplished cyclist, as is his son
Denay who competed at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in
Ms McLennan told the Herald that all five members of the team
had competed at a national level in development and age-group
The girls were hit "all together", she said.
Four of them were boarders at the school and their parents
were rushing to Waikato Hospital, she said.
"These are all very talented girls. They are top cyclists,"
said Ms McLennan, who was at the hospital last night.
"They were very fortunate to have a doctor on the scene very
quickly. It was him that contacted the helicopter service,
because he was aware of what was needed," Ms McLennan said.
"We don't know yet what injuries they have, obviously cuts
and bruises, but they are being checked for potentially
The driver of the car was not injured. He spoke to the Herald
at the scene.
"I helped them getting up and untangled them and got their
bicycles out of the way," he said.
The driver's wife said the couple were deeply concerned for
the cyclists. She said her husband had been travelling home
to Hamilton from work.
"He's in shock at the moment. Two-and-a-half years we have
travelled these roads," she said.
Sergeant John Stapleford of the Waikato Highway Patrol said
it was too early to say if charges would be laid. The police
Serious Crash Unit would investigate the cause of the
accident and is expected to speak to the driver and all six
of the cyclists as soon as they are up to it.
Mr Stapleford said the collision was a reminder to drivers on
rural roads to be considerate of other road users -
- Additional reporting Natalie Akoorie and Morgan Tait