MP stops biker bleeding to death – with his fist

New Zealand politician stems main artery with his bare hands to save motorcyclist's life



Van Krieken's life was saved by quick-thinking MP

NEW ZEALAND'S first MP Ron Mark used his fist to stop a motorbike crash
victim from bleeding to death, but has rejected suggestions he is a hero.

Herman van Krieken was riding his Triumph Tiger 955cc motorbike into
Wellington on May 17 when he was struck by a trailer going through The Terrace
Tunnel.

"I just heard the bang and I saw him flying through the air," said Mr Mark,
who was travelling through the tunnel.
He and his partner Chris Tracey stopped to help - subsequently missing their
flight to Auckland.

Mr Mark, a trained soldier, stemmed the bleeding.
"I had my fist there the whole time, he wasn't gushing blood all over the
place, but there was bleeding and it was clearly a double compound fracture of
the lower leg."

Mr van Krieken wrote to Prime Minister Helen Clark saying that when he came
to, he was "absolutely staggered" to see Mr Mark "on his knees on the road
with his tie on and having his finger up my main artery".

He also wrote to NZ First leader Winston Peters praising Mr Mark, Ms Tracey
and another woman who helped him as he lost almost two litres of blood on the
road. "While tumbling through the air I wondered where I would end up, will
I hit a car and is this the end?" Mr van Krieken, an IT and business
consultant, wrote.

"I remember curling up into a ball to minimise damages and I finally came to
rest on the road and within three seconds three people are on to me."

Mr Mark told him to lie still, firmly gripped his thigh and told him he was
losing a lot of blood. "It feels like he is poking his thumb into my main
artery."

But Mr Mark said he was no hero. He had family members in the fire service,
police and St John Ambulance who helped save lives every day. "I don't really
think I did a lot."

But he said the incident had restored his faith in humanity.

"I was really quite astounded by the people in the tunnel. Just keeping
their cars there to make sure we were protected. There's a lot of really good
people out there."

Ms Tracey, who is support services manager at Parliament, comforted and
calmed Mr van Krieken as he lay on the road.
Mr Mark said ambulance officers had contacted him to thank him for his
help.

Mr van Krieken, originally from Holland but who has lived in New Zealand for
18 years, said he would not have survived without the first aid.

"It makes me proud to be part of a society of people that care about each
other, we are called Kiwis."

He has a complex leg fracture, a broken hand, and a split vertebra but hopes
to be out of hospital soon.