The world of motorcycle racing was devastated at the weekend following the death of Dr. John Hinds, one of the well known ‘flying doctors’ of Irish road racing.
It is understood ‘Doc John’ as he was commonly known, was travelling behind the 650cc practice session when the incident occurred. He was treated trackside and then rushed to hospital, but tragically succumbed to his injuries.
Dr. John Hinds, an anaesthetist at Craigavon, saved the life of many a competitor through the rapid response intervention that the ‘Flying Doc’ and his medical colleague’s provided at race tracks across Ireland. Recently Dr Hinds attended the serious accident at the North West 200 that left a spectator and two riders in hospital following a high speed accident.
Following the North West he was instrumental in highlighting the need for an Air Ambulance in Northern Ireland at a meeting with MLA’s in an attempt to reduce the waiting time between an accident and arrival in hospital, as had been experienced in that North West incident.
Speaking to Times Sport, Bill Kennedy, former Mayor of Ballymoney and Clerk of the Course of the upcoming Armoy Road Races commented: “The loss of Dr. John Hinds is a real tragedy, he was such a lovely man. He came to the Armoy Road Races to provide medical support every year and I know he was looking forward to it this year too.
“It’s such a loss to his family, friends, colleagues and in my opinion he is irreplacable in road racing. He rose to the top very quickly. He had a special bond with so many riders. I think because he was 35 years old he was able to connect with them and even if he had treated them for a minor injury during a race he would always seek them out afterwards to check on them. He was always giving them advice on treatment and was so appraochable.”
Since the news of Dr. John’s death on Saturday morning a campaign to get an Air Ambulance for Northern Ireland has gathered momentum with a petition having received 24,000 signitures by Sunday evening. Dr. Hinds was a fervant campaigner for an Air Ambulance and just three weeks before his fatal accident he met with Health Minister Simon Hamilton to discuss the issue.
Bill continued: “Dr. John was also an expert in dealing with trauma cases and travelled the world training and speaking to others.
“He wanted to see an Air Ambulance in Northern Ireland and it would be a fitting tribute and a lasting legacy to John if his wish would now become reality.”