Flying motorbike crash still a mystery to police

23:46, Jun 17 2012
Motorcycle crash
Officers inspect the bike as it is loaded on to a tow truck.
Motorcycle crash
The bike was cut down by a nearby roading contractor, using a chainsaw.
Motorcycle crash
The motorcycle ended up suspended above the ground and the rider in a nearby ditch.
Motorcycle crash
The bike flew from behind where the officer is standing over the driveway and into a tree.
Motorcycle crash
The motorcycle hit a drain, cleared a driveway and ended up in this tree next to the highway.

How a motorbike ended up perched in tree is still a mystery, with its rider still in a serious condition in hospital and unable to speak to police.

A motorcycle crash on Friday saw a high-performance bike hit a ditch then fly across a driveway before stopping in the branches of a tree next to State Highway Two at Kutarere, about 20 kilometres southwest of Opotiki.

The rider was taken to Whakatane Hospital with serious injuries but had since been transferred to Waikato Hospital and was in no condition to talk, Whakatane constable Mike Chelley said.

The crash happened about 9.20am on Friday and is being investigated by the Serious Crash Unit. Chelley said police were waiting for results of blood tests to come back before they could tell what may have caused the crash.

It is not yet clear whether speed, alcohol or driver inattention were factors.

Police were also not sure whether the driver hit the tree himself or whether he managed to push himself free of the motorbike as it hurtled through the air.

The motorcycle was cut out of the tree by a roading contractor who was nearby when the crash happened.

A woman driving from Tauranga to Opotiki just before 10 that morning said she saw a body face down on the road and trucks parked around it.