Heartbreaking crash metres from Bridge to Brisbane finish
HURTLING at 30kmh in a wheelchair would be nerve-wracking for most, but even record-breaker Nathan Donaldson was shaken up after coming to a heartbreaking halt just short of the end of the Bridge to Brisbane.
The 14-year-old was about to claim second place in the 10km race when he crashed.
"I was 50m from the finish line and there was a steep hill and a turn on a 90-degree angle. I didn't measure how sharp the turn was," he said.
"When I realised, I tried to slow down, but my wheel was lifting and I couldn't stop."
He managed to slow down to 28kmh before hitting the barrier, rolling and landed on his shoulder. He is recovering from a concussion with a few nasty grazes.
His dad Paul didn't see the crash but heard the sickening sound.
"I was hoping it was something coming off the back of the truck, but when I heard people shouting 'Medic!' I feared the worst," he said.
"When I came around the corner and saw Nathan sitting up and talking to the police who helped him, it was a huge relief."
Medics quickly attended. He was grateful to Acting Sergeant Dani De-Waal from Upper Mount Gravatt Station who rushed to his aid.
On another part of the race on a highway on-ramp, Nathan reached 54kmh, the fastest speed he has ever travelled.
"It was pretty nerve-wracking," he said. "If I moved the tiniest bit it would have sent me turning very hard - so I just had to stay as still as I could."
Despite the hair-raising experience, Nathan is itching to get back in the chair as soon as he is able - but he can't until $1000 worth of repairs to its front are completed, with parts needing to be sourced from America.
He hopes the repairs will be able to be done before his next race, the School State Championships in October.