"You've got to be aware of your surrounds and what you're doing" - Worksafe Victoria

“I found the bike on top of him; it was everyone’s nightmare”

Meet Peter and Lorraine Burgi - they discovered that no two rides are the same when a quad bike threw Peter off at their farm in Gruyere.

Peter is 76 years old and has been a farmer all his life, both in Gruyere and Wandin.

The accident occurred as Peter was preparing to round up cattle that got through a gate.

Lorraine couldn’t see Peter, but heard the motor stop. “I knew exactly what had happened but I didn’t know how bad it was going to be. I came up the hill and my legs wouldn’t carry me,” she said.

Peter was lucky Lorraine was close by when it happened, and was able to raise the alarm with neighbours. Peter was airlifted to hospital and remained in intensive care for five days.

He had extensive injuries including nine broken ribs, an acquired brain injury and lacerated arm. He was away from the farm for a month and couldn’t drive for eight weeks.

Following the accident, Peter knew things had to change. He used the VIctorian Government safety rebate to purchase an alternate vehicle, his side-by-side, and employed a qualified mechanic to perform regular maintenance on his farm vehicles.

He’s also more alert to the risks of working alone, and he and Lorraine now have a regular check-in system.

"You've got to be aware of your surrounds and what you're doing" Peter said. “A lot of us probably don’t pay enough attention to that.”

Ruth Cuzner