Smash fails to stop big Hash
By COLIN CHUNG
ORGANISERS of Tasmania's
massive international Hash House Harriers event have
been devastated by a road accident that has left
almost half its committee in hospital.
About 4500 harriers from 66
countries will descend on the state for Interhash
2000 which begins on February 25.
But a 12-seater van carrying
seven Hash committee members overturned near Oatlands
on Tuesday, throwing plans into disarray.
However, defiant Interhash
general manager Alan Rider said from his bed at
Hobart Private Hospital yesterday: "We have
spent the past six years promoting Tasmania all over
the world and bidding to hold Interhash 2000 and we
are not about to let this stop us."
The event is expected to inject
more than $8 million into the Tasmanian economy.
"We are expecting about
4500 people, which will be the second-biggest
Interhash ever held and most of the structures are in
place," said Mr Rider.
"All we need to do is work
on the finer details. We have had about 15 people
working extremely hard on the committee and I'm sure
people will rally to the cause because that is the
spirit of Hash."
Mr Rider, 52, was driving the
12-seater van with six fellow committee members on
board when he lost control in gravel beside the
Midland Hwy near Oatlands about 5pm.
The van rolled several times
before coming to rest on its side in the middle of
Mr Rider suffered a broken
collarbone and lacerations to his head.
Two people remain in a serious
condition in hospital.
They are John Ellsmore, 51, of
Sandy Bay, who has neck injuries, and Greg Howard,
50, of Dynnyrne, who has head injuries.
Geoff Wood, 54, of New Town
(fractured upper right leg and ribs and serious
bruising and cuts to his face), and Haydyn Nielsen,
50, of Rosetta (broken rib and spinal injuries), are
stable while Ken Dann, 53, of Dodges Ferry (minor
lacerations), and Paul Green, 50, of Mt Nelson (cuts
and abrasions), were released from hospital
Mr Rider said the group was
returning from Devonport where they had been
supporting the launch of the great train ride to
Hobart as part of Interhash 2000.
"We had to be back in
Hobart for a 6.30pm meeting and we left Devonport at
about 2.30pm, which I remember thinking would get us
back in plenty of time," he said.
"On the sweeping curve
near Oatlands I remember drifting off left into the
gravel and I think I over-corrected and next thing
the van was rolling and I was getting an ant's view
of the bitumen.
"None of us had been
drinking alcohol and I was not speeding. It was just
one of those things."
Mr Nielsen said he was asleep
in the back when he was suddenly thrown around as the
"I crawled out on to the
grass and Alan was yelling for someone to get him out
but I couldn't move," he said.
Other articles on Interhash
Mercury - 19 Jan 00 (Red, set, go for wardrobe
Mercury - 29 Jan 00 (Adding a dash
of panache in the run-up to Hash bash)