City councillor killed in collision with car

Last updated 00:00 08/09/2007

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The death of Christchurch City Councillor and former paralympian Graham Condon in a road accident in suburban Christchurch today was a tragic loss to the community, the city's mayor says.

Mr Condon, 58, was riding a three-wheeled bike when he was hit on Lower Styx Rd, in Brooklands, at 10.30am, Detective Sergeant Dorothy McPhail of Papanui police said.

"It would appear that a car has failed to negotiate a corner crossing the centre line hitting a cyclist travelling in the opposite direction," she said.

"The cyclist became trapped between the car and another vehicle which was travelling behind the cyclist."

Mr Condon was elected as a councillor in 1995 and was standing for re-election for the Shirley-Papanui ward in next month's elections.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore said Mr Condon's death was a tragic loss to the local community.

In a wheelchair since he was a young child, Mr Condon was a true champion for his community, sportspeople everywhere and particularly the disabled, Mr Moore said.

"As councillors we are all devastated by his death and our sympathy goes out to his wife, Kath and two children Craig and Andrea of whom he was so proud.

"He and Kath were a great team and are about to become grandparents. Graham was so excited about this next stage in his life as a grandad."

Mr Moore said Mr Condon was one of the most positive people he knew and totally passionate about all sport. Not only an outstanding sportsman himself, he supported and fostered others.

He represented New Zealand at six Paralympic Games and 17 international events between 1968 and 1988. He has held world records in the 200m, 1500m and 5000m wheelchair track events and won seven Paralympic medals.

He also played wheelchair rugby for Canterbury when he retired from the athletics track.

He custommade his own wheel chairs for competition and was still highly competitive, taking part in this year's Le Race to Akaroa, Mr Moore said.

Mr Condon had been on the board of SPARC and established Parafed -- an organisation offering sport and recreational activities for people with physical disabilities.

He was also on the board of Christchurch City Holdings, and had been awarded a Queen's Service Medal.

"As a councillor he was a real team player and a tremendous asset to the council team. He always spoke his mind and even if he didn't agree with you, he always moved on. He will be sorely missed by us all -- the councillors are mourning an extremely close friend and mate, " Mr Moore said.

Police were investigating the crash.

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Ms McPhail said there were five people travelling in the car which collided with Mr Condon's bike.

The female driver had been hospitalised with whiplash and a suspected broken ankle.

One of the other passengers also required hospital treatment for a minor injury. The other passengers were not injured.

The driver of the vehicle travelling behind Mr Condon was not injured.

Lower Styx Rd was closed for several hours while a scene examination was carried out.

Ms McPhail said further investigation was needed before any charges were laid.
- NZPA

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