'An unsung hero': Irish road racing doctor John Hinds dies after practice session crash
TRIBUTES have flooded in for Irish road racing doctor John Hinds who has died after his motorcycle crashed into a wall as he followed contenders during a practice session.
Dr John Hinds - an intensive care consultant and anaesthetist at Craigavon Hospital - attended people injured in the North West 200 earlier this year.
One of Irish road racing’s famous travelling medics, lost his life following a crash at practice last night for the Skerries 100 races near Dublin.
Originally taken to Beaumont Hospital, he passed away this afternoon.
"With deep regret the family of Dr John Dermot Hinds announce his sad passing," the MCI medical team said.
"They would like to give grateful thanks to all involved in his care. RIP."
Earlier this month he warned a specialist air ambulance service is urgently needed here to save lives.
Paying tribute, top British female racer Maria Costello said: "I am devastated to hear the news about Dr John Hinds. A true gentleman. Amazing and talented, who gave so much to this sport and saved so many lives. An unsung hero.
"The sport won't be the same without him. I will never forget the times I received his care. My deepest condolences go to his family, my thoughts go out to you. RIP."
And earlier this month he told the Belfast Telegraph: "It is a totally unacceptable situation. For those of us involved in trauma care, it is very frustrating. We have effectively a third world system operating here.
"In Manchester, Leeds, London, Scotland, Wales or the Irish Republic, if someone is critically injured, there is an air ambulance team ready to be dispatched. In Northern Ireland, victims are often just driven to the nearest small hospital by ambulance.
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Dr Hinds said if a victim has to be taken by air to hospital, medical staff must wait for a helicopter to be made available by the PSNI or the Scottish or Irish Coastguard service.
"And that helicopter borrowed is only a means of transporting the patient to hospital. It doesn't have the specialist crew and equipment on board that air ambulances everywhere else have," he said.
Last night's practice rounds at the annual Skerries 100 motorcycle road race were cancelled after the collision.
The road race, which is one of the most popular in the country, attracts riders from all over Ireland and abroad to north Co Dublin. It was expected to continue as normal today.
It is understood the male doctor was travelling behind the riders as they navigated their way around the course just outside Skerries.
He received some treatment at the scene before he was rushed to hospital.
Under the race rules, doctors complete one circuit of the course on a motorcycle before the race begins. They then follow behind the riders for the opening lap before the race gets underway properly.
Elsewhere, a truck driver was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition following a collision on the M9.
The man, in his early 40s, was struck by an oncoming car when he stepped out of his cabin after he had pulled his vehicle in on the hard shoulder.
The incident occurred at around 7.30pm on the southbound carriageway between Junctions 4 and 5 on the M9 in Co Carlow. The road was closed in both directions to allow the helicopter to land and take the man to Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.
Four people in the car were not injured in the incident.