Belfast Telegraph

Road racing paramedic McSorley fighting for his life after crash during Northern Ireland race event

By Donna Deeney

The family of motorcycle paramedic Allister McSorley are maintaining a vigil at his hospital bedside after he was injured in a crash at Armoy Road Races on Saturday.

Mr McSorley was airlifted from Armoy to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after his fellow paramedics administered first aid.

The crash happened before the Armoy Road Race was due to get under way.

Mr McSorley's condition was described as "critical but stable" by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Mr McSorley regularly attends road races as a paramedic, following in the footsteps of his father Fred, who retired from his role as a "travelling doctor" for the road racing fraternity last year.

The Armoy Road Race was abandoned on Saturday "in the interests of safety" because of the heavy rainfall without any of the planned events actually taking place.

Chairman of Armoy Road Races Bill Kennedy paid tribute to Mr McSorley's colleagues for their professionalism in what was a very difficult situation for them.

He said: "We are very disappointed that Allister was involved in a road traffic collision while he was on duty at Armoy.

"Allister has been very, very good to the road racing fraternity, as was his father Fred when he was a travelling doctor.

"I don't know the entire circumstances of what caused the crash, but I would first and foremost wish Allister a speedy recovery to full health.

"I would also like to pay tribute to his colleagues. I was at the scene and they were so professional.

"The way they worked with Allister on the roadside - who was one of their own, but in that moment was their patient - they were incredible.

"They looked after Allister until the helicopter arrived and were prepared to carry on in their role as paramedics had the road race continued.

"That could not have been an easy thing for them to do, but it was admirable and it gave us a whole new understanding of the work they do and their professionalism.

"Unfortunately, on this occasion Allister found himself on the receiving end of the skill and dedication he usually administers to others.

"He is in our thoughts, as are his whole family, and everyone is wishing him a good recovery to full health."

News of Mr McSorley's accident came just weeks after the motorbike fraternity was left in shock following the death of William Dunlop (32), who lost his life during practice at the Skerries 100 in Co Dublin.

In 2015 the Skerries event was the race that claimed the life of John Hinds, an anaesthetist at Craigavon Hospital and a colleague of both Mr McSorley and his father.

Three other motorcyclists have lost their lives in races this year.

Dan Kneen, James Cowton and Adam Lyon were all killed while competing on the Isle of Man.

Belfast Telegraph

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