The Mercury
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
February 10, 2000

Smash fails to stop
big Hash bash


Smash fails to stop big Hash bash

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 the highway.

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 yesterday.

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 van rolled.

"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 2000:
The Mercury - 19 Jan 00 (Red, set, go for wardrobe clean-out)
The Mercury - 29 Jan 00 (Adding a dash of panache in the run-up to Hash bash)

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