A motorcyclist was lucky to be alive after his motorbike crashed into a power pole and he landed on power lines near Makarora yesterday, emergency service workers said.
The 56-year-old Christchurch man was travelling on State Highway 6 from Haast to Wanaka with his brother, who was on another motorbike, when he lost control and skidded off the road about 5km south of the Makarora township, shortly after 10am.
The man came off his motorbike after it crashed into a deer fence pole.
The motorbike then hit a power pole, knocking it over and breaking it into several pieces, while its rider landed in a ditch beside the road lying across the downed power lines.
Emergency workers at the scene could not move the injured man until a Delta crew had arrived about an hour later and tested the power cables to ensure they were not live.
''We just didn't want to put that person or anyone else at risk [of electrocution],'' a policeman from Wanaka, Senior Constable Mike Johnston said.
The man was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital for treatment. However, other than suspected broken wrists and ribs, the man was ''remarkably unscathed''.
''He should go and buy a year's worth of Lotto tickets because he's a very, very lucky boy.''
Snr Const Johnston said it appeared the man had lost concentration.
''We don't think it was a speed issue.''
Fire crews from Makarora and Lake Hawea attended, along with Haast and Wanaka police and Wanaka St John paramedics. There was no power to the Makarora area for several hours while the damaged power pole was replaced.
• Charges against a woman who crashed into a schist entranceway in Gibbston on Monday are likely but have not yet been laid, Queenstown police said. The crash occurred when the female driver, in her mid 20s, attempted to turn into Gibbston Valley Wines.
Inquiries are continuing following a crash in Arrowtown on Monday which a car was found on its roof on Manse Rd. The 49-year-old female driver was found about 12 hours after the crash, which police say occurred at 1.30am.
• Wanaka police said a man has acknowledged being the driver of an Isuzu Bighorn 4WD which crashed into two parked cars in Totara Tce, Wanaka, on Friday night and was then driven off.
Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said the man presented himself at the Wanaka police station yesterday.
A decision over charges had not yet been made.