‘Flying doctor’ John Hinds dies after Skerries 100 crash

Air ambulance petition gains 28,000 signatures after riding doctor's death

ONE of the so-called ‘flying doctors’ of Irish road racing has died following a crash at the Skerries 100.

Dr John Hinds died at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on Saturday morning after an accident on Friday.

Flying doctors are skilled riders who provide emergency medical care at road races. Dr Hinds, 35, from Tandragee, was providing medical cover for the Skerries 100 at the time of his crash.

The consultant anaesthetist at Craigavon Hospital Area Hospital in County Armagh worked regularly at road races including the North West 200 and had treated many injured riders.

A Change.org petition calling for an air ambulance in Northern Ireland has gained 28,000 signatures since Dr Hinds’ death. The petition was started in memory of Dr Hinds, who had campaigned for a Northern Ireland air ambulance.

Dr Hinds is survived by his partner Janet Acheson, also 35, an obstetrician at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.

Fellow flying doctor Fred McSorley paid tribute to his colleague and told BBC NI's Good Morning Ulster that an investigation into the accident was underway.

Dr McSorley said: ‘John was not racing, he was riding his road bike. He was not in a race, we do not race.

‘He was travelling with the marshals after the race. He had been on the circuit that day. It was not a tricky corner. He was a highly skilled rider and we really don't understand what happened.’

Dr McSorley said the death was ‘profoundly difficult for everyone,’ adding: ‘In road racing, he was revered and adored by so many riders.

‘But our thoughts also go to staff in Craigavon where he was revered for his wonderful work. He was a natural teacher and wonderfully inspirational.

‘He was hugely dedicated to improving the care of critically ill people.’