WINDHOEK – A recent quad bike accident involving New Era reporter Sabina Elago prompted Leading Lodges of Africa to start investing in helmets for its quad bike excursions.
Elago suffered serious head injuries when she fell off a quad bike during a media event in the south.
Elago and various other journalists from other media houses were invited for a weekend at the Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve with various activities planned for the weekend.
However the unfortunate Elago, who was not wearing a helmet, was tossed off the quad bike that also ran over her. She suffered a huge gash at the back of her head and is currently in hospital receiving treatment for her injuries.
According to Elago the group of journalists was asked to sign an indemnity form before their excursion on the quad bikes. They were however given a crash course on how to ride the quad bikes and even went for a test run before the excursion.
She said it was almost at the end of the tour when she descended a dune and failed to negotiate a sharp curve. The quad bike overturned toppling onto her causing the deep gash on the back of her head.
She said she was taken to hospital by the group she was with, stitched, bandaged and discharged. However, according to Elago when she arrived back in the capital her one eye was swollen shut and she immediately went to hospital to seek further medical help.
Elago said that after her left eye swelled shut, her right eye followed leaving her blind.
Luckily with the treatment at the Windhoek Central Hospital where she was admitted the swelling on her face that caused her temporary blindness receded and she is able to see again.
Tom De Nijs from Leading Lodges downplayed the accident as an attempt by Elago to show off when she drove too fast and suddenly braked, causing the bike to flip and toss her.
According to De Nijs, there has never been in the eight years of the lodge’s operations any accidents with their quad bike tours as patrons normally observe the rules.
He said that it was never necessary for people using the quad bikes to wear helmets as one of the standing rules is that all riders must follow the guide and keep a speed limit of 20km per hour. This he said is part of the lessons that are provided before anyone is allowed on a quad bike.
Another rule, he said, is that it is not allowed for two persons to ride on one quad bike, while persons under sixteen are also not allowed on the bikes.
According to De Nijs, Leading Lodges is very upset about the accident, even though the lodge has not visited Elago to inquire about her recovery nor sent her any message of sympathy.
By Roland Routh