Queenstown's adventure tourism community is reeling
following the death of AJ Hackett Bungy's group logistic
manager Tony Middendorf.
The 49-year-old father of three was killed on Saturday
afternoon when his motorcycle collided head-on with a van on
the Crown Range Rd.
Mr Middendorf was travelling towards Wanaka as part of a
motorcycle rally when the accident occurred about 5km below
the Crown Range summit.
Senior Constable Bruce McLean, of Wanaka, said a female
doctor visiting the area was on the scene within minutes of
the crash and provided medical assistance to Mr Middendorf,
but was unable to save him.
While police inquiries were continuing he said witness
reports indicated Mr Middendorf had been on the wrong side of
the road at the time of the collision, which closed the road
for about two hours, diverting traffic via State Highway 6,
A statement released by Mr Middendorf's wife, Judith, and
daughters Charlotte, Korrie and Whitney to the Otago Daily
Times yesterday said he had lived his life ''to the full''.
Emergency services attend the crash on the Crown Range Rd
on Saturday involving a van and a motorcycle that claimed
the life of Tony Middendorf. Photo by ODT Staff.
''He especially loved Queenstown and the outdoor
activities in the region.
''He was loved, respected and admired by his extended family
and by many in the community.
''Family was a top priority for Tony ... We miss him
AJ Hackett Bungy co-founder and director Henry van Asch said
staff were informed of Mr Middendorf's death yesterday
morning and were ''distraught''.
Operations were suspended for a time yesterday.
Mr van Asch described Mr Middendorf as ''an absolutely
fantastic guy'' who was ''loyal, trusted, respected and
''He was just a huge part of the organisation.''
Mr Middendorf would have celebrated his 20th anniversary with
the company in February.
Mr Mittendorf, who was born and raised in Queenstown, was
initially employed as a mechanic and boat driver and worked
his way through the ranks, eventually training jump masters
and overseeing operations for all of the company's Queenstown
''He's just a guy who always surprised me with his resilience
and passion to achieve and adapt,'' Mr van Asch said.
''He [was] one of the most core parts, one of the most key
people in the team. As far as the management team goes,
they're all devastated.''
On a personal level, Mr van Asch said Mr Middendorf was
down-to-earth and humble with a fantastic sense of humour,
who had long loved motorcycles and was an experienced rider.
''He loved Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin ... he normally wore a
Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin T-shirt to work.
''[He] loved skiing, mountain biking; loved his engines,
whether they were in boats, cars or bikes.
''He was always very proud of his current mullet [and] at the
bungy parties he was always the life of the party, dressing
up in whatever ... he could get his hands on.
''He's going to leave a huge gap ... I'm going to miss him as
one of my most trusted, long-serving deputies.''
He said the company was offering the family support.