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- Cyclist and ute collide on Ocean Drive
Well-known Port Macquarie man Tony Wright remains in a critical condition in John Hunter Hospital following a collision between his push bike and a car on Saturday afternoon.
The accident happened about two kilometres north of Lake Cathie on Ocean Drive.
Paramedics treated Mr Wright at the scene before he was transported to Port Macquarie Base Hospital where he underwent surgery. He was airlifted to Newcastle where he was to undergo a second surgery.
Well known as the swim coordinator for Port Macquarie Ironman, Mr Wright was heavily involved in surf club where he is a life member of the Port Macquarie Surf Club. He also worked as a lifeguard for many years.
Chairman of the local organising committee for Ironman Mike Reid described Mr Wright as ‘one of the most accommodating blokes I’ve come across’.
“And that is not only in terms of Ironman, he is an all round good guy. I don’t know how many conversations I’ve had this morning (Sunday) but the sentiment coming from this community reflects how much respect there is for Tony in this area.
“We just love the guy,” he said.
Mr Reid said Mr Wright had been a committee member for about 10 years and acted as swim director.
Mr Wright had the knack of being able to coordinator surf clubs and others to act as water safety for the Ironman events.
“It is reassuring to know that if you gave Tony a job to do, you knew it was going to happen,” he said.
“Tony is remarkably fit. He is a guy that looks after himself.
“I am just surprised he was out riding that late in the day, perhaps he was working and just decided he would got for a ride.”
Mr Reid said there was lots of support and prayers for Tony.
Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast branch director of lifesaving Paul Rayner said all lifesavers wish Tony well.
“To his wife Leanne and their children, we are all hoping for a speedy recovery,” Mr Rayner said.
“We just hope that he makes a full recovery.”
The 29 year old driver of a utility was treated at the scene for minor injuries. He underwent mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
Police inquiries into the accident continue.