On Sunday a 75 year-old man fell down the steep side of the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail near Crabbes Creek and breaking his hip.
Greg Bowering said he and his 75-year old friend were riding the Tweed section of the rail trail near where Crabbes Creek Road meets Tweed Valley Way when the accident happened. After the underpass the trail curves around and goes up a very steep incline and that is where the accident happened.
‘When the cyclists in front of me went up the other side one of them stalled and ran out of power on the slope. I put my foot down, but was near the edge and stumbled and fell down over the side,’ the injured cyclist told The Echo from Tweed Hospital following surgery.
Both Greg and his friend said there was a sign that tells cyclists to dismount but that they didn’t see it and none of the cyclists in front stopped and dismounted either.
‘It is a really sharp bend and really steep. That’s why they have the sign to dismount I assume, but most people, like me, don’t see it. They need to improve it and put in a rail. They should have some sort of railing to prevents what happened to me happening to someone else. The drop is around one-and-a-half metres down over ruggard, sharp rocks.’
The injured gentleman told The Echo that he’s ‘done a lot of riding’ and while ‘the rest of the trail was excellent’ the section from ‘the underpass was narrow and potentially dangerous if you were not a good rider’.
His friend Greg agreed, telling The Echo that ‘Someone going past [following the accident] said it is not the first time it’s happened. Then as they were loading him into the ambulance another rider came around the corner and stacked in the same spot, but they didn’t go over the edge.
‘The rest of the rail trail is great,’ said Greg. ‘But they really need to put a rail in there.’
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) were first on site with the ambulance, police and the VRA. Together they were able to pass the injured man on the stretcher hand-to-hand to the ambulance.
Tweed Council to inspect
Tweed Shire Mayor Chris Cherry responded to questions from The Echo saying that, ‘Council will inspect the site where the man fell to see if there are obvious risk mitigation measures that could be put in place.
‘Council cannot protect for every eventuality, but it is taking continual steps to improve customer safety and experience along the Trail. We do take this issue very seriously.’