An eight-year-old boy from the Eurobodalla is recovering after a motorbike accident on his family’s property in Nelligen back in April.
Harley Fortuna was racing home from his grandma’s place on his Kawasaki 110 alongside his 15-year-old brother, Vincent, and two 11-year-old twin cousins who were all on motorbikes, when he crashed into a barbed wire fence.
The St Bernard’s Primary School Student told East Coast Radio he was travelling faster than he normally would.
“We were racing and I was going too fast and I crashed,” Harley said.
Harley’s dad, Peter Fortuner, said Harley and Vincent had been riding motorcycles since the age of four, so it wasn’t unusual for them to go for a ride together.
“Boys being boys, they were all racing home from their grandmothers place which is on the property and young Harley was going a bit too fast, couldn’t take the corner onto the old road and went through a four span barbed wire fence,” Mr Fortuner said.
The crash left the eight-year-old with an eight centimetre gash on his neck and several cuts and grazes on his arms and legs.
“After the crash I just remember being in hospital,” Harley said.
Harley’s mother Rebecca and father Peter, took one look at their boy’s wounds and rushed him to Batemans Bay Hospital.
“The Batemans Bay medical team called doctors in Sydney and got the helicopter in straight away,” Peter said.
“So they flew Harley and Rebecca to Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick then I drove up there and they operated on him the next morning,” he said.
Harley said the flight in the chopper felt super quick.
“I think it was one minute and 45 seconds to get to Sydney,” Harley said.
“It took a little bit longer than that I think mate,” Peter added.
Doctors operated on Harley the next morning, and after 30 stitches the young motorcycle enthusiast was discharged.
“It was pretty grim looking down into your sons neck but Harley was brave throughout and he didn’t cry once,” Peter said.
“We were scared stiff but the medical crews did a fantastic job, everyone from Batemans Bay Hopsital, the Ambos, air crew and the medical crew at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick – huge shout out to all of them,” he said.
Peter admits the situation could have been worse “He’s a very lucky boy.”
While luck may or may not have been a factor, Rebecca and Peter are urging other parents with children who ride motorbikes to ensure their kids are wearing all of the correct protective gear.
“Harley had a helmet, boots and gloves on but he should have been wearing all of the protective gear and he will be from now on,” Peter said.
“To other parents I’d say make sure they’re wearing all of the right protective clothing, including body armour, everything.”
In terms of how young Harley, who was named after the Harley Davidson motorcycle, is recovering two months on from his incident…
“He’s fine,” Peter said.
“He wants to get back on the bike today, we’re a little bit apprehensive about it but we’ve bought him some more protective clothing and he really wants to, so we’ll let him go ahead.”
Images: Rebecca Campbell