Landsdale man happy for ‘second lease on life’ after horrific motorcycle accident claims leg

Ian Young at home in his workshop in Landsdale. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Ian Young at home in his workshop in Landsdale. Picture: Martin Kennealey

THE horrific crash. The loss of his leg. The weeks spent in hospital in Darwin and Perth. The adjustment to life without one of his limbs.

It still feels surreal for Landsdale resident Ian Young more than four months on.

“I still feel I’m going to wake up and it’s not going to have happened,” he said.

“I still think it’s a dream. But it’s not.”

Mr Young (56) was completing a practice run at the TERRA Territory Challenge road racing meet at Hope Valley in Darwin on August 1.

The motorcycle he was riding broke down on the main straight just after he passed the pit stop, leaving him stranded on the track.

The loss of power had him coasting at low speed.

Seconds later, his body went careering into the asphalt.

The impact seemingly came out of nowhere.

A female competitor had ploughed into him.

“I was doing maybe 40km/h and the person who hit me was doing 200,” Mr Young recalled.

“Her front wheel basically hit my left leg and jammed it against the engine.

“Her body hit my body and we went off in different directions.

“The first guy who jumped over the wall… he saw it happen.

“He said to me straight away, ‘your leg doesn’t look good’.

“I didn’t lose consciousness at all in any of this.”

Mr Young does not recall feeling pain.

And despite the trauma of the ordeal, he considers himself lucky.

Given it was a practice run and not an official race day, there was not meant to be an ambulance stationed at the track.

But paramedics, by luck, were on the scene because they were called to the venue earlier that day to tend to a man who had fallen ill.

Mr Young’s situation took urgent priority.

He believes he would have died if the paramedics had not been needed for the earlier incident.

“The rate that blood was coming out of my leg, I would have been dead in probably 10 minutes,” he said.

“To get an ambulance to the track generally takes 20 minutes to half an hour.

“That was my second lease on life.”

Mr Young said he had not looked at photos or X-rays of his injuries and was not sure he ever would.

The collision also left him with a cracked shoulder blade, broken collar bone and three fractured ribs.

A dangerous blood clot in his groin was not discovered until he returned to Perth for treatment at Fiona Stanley Hospital just under a month later.

It could have had deadly consequences on the flight from Darwin.

Other blood clots were discovered in his lungs.

He was discharged from the Murdoch campus on September 14.

He had not spoken to the woman who crashed into him and did not know her name.

Northern Territory media reported she was a 47-year-old woman, who had injuries to her shoulder and ribs.

Mr Young remains in a wheelchair while he waits to have a prosthesis fitted.

The father-of-two said Motorcycling Australia had “been fantastic” in covering the hospital costs and would continue to cover some other forms of treatment until a year after the crash.

But he and his wife Tamsin, who he described as “amazing”, still faced a heavy financial burden.

The commercial flights from Darwin were not covered and cost thousands because he needed to fly business class given his medical condition.

Alterations will need to be made to their home.

Mr Young, a keen bagpipe player, does not allow the complications to wear too heavily on his mind, however.

He’s just happy to be here.

“It might sound cliche, but I feel different because I’ve been given this second lease on life,” he said.

“My outlook has changed, I see things in a different light already.

“It’s quite something.”

Mr Young’s wife Tamsin has set up a GoFundMe page to help with his recovery costs. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/support-for-ian-young.

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