A government agency has been fined $100,000 after a young Warrnambool rider was seriously injured by metal cables stretched across a track in the Mount Clay State Forest.
Parks Victoria pleaded guilty in Portland Magistrates Court this week to one charge of failing to ensure persons other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
The government bodywas fined $100,000 and ordered to pay costs of $3639.
A conviction was not recorded.
Corey Davis, 23, and his friend Warrick Greer, 28, rode into the thick cables at 70km/h on November 18, 2018.
Mr Davis suffered a fractured spine, hip and pelvis, as well as a punctured bowel.
He spent weeks in the Royal Melbourne Hospital and was unable to eat, speak or walk.
Mr Greer broke his elbow and collarbone in two places.
He rode with those injuries for 45 minutes in order to find phone coverage and call triple-0.
The victims spoke to The Standard following the incident.
"We came to a section of the track and I saw the cables. I tried to pull up as quick as I could, but it was too late," Mr Greer said.
"Corey hit the cables first, then I did. I was lying on the ground going in and out of consciousness when I heard Corey say 'Waz, I really need your help.' I looked over and he was on the ground tossing and turning in pain, so I pulled my sh*t together and got up."
Mr Greer said he jumped on his bike but was in a lot of pain.
"I wanted to go fast but I had to slow down because I was going in and out of consciousness," he said.
"It felt like I was riding for about four hours. I got back to my vehicle and rang triple-0. They did an amazing job to find us in the middle of the bush.
"They found me first but I told them to go get Corey, he needed more help than I did."
Mr Davis was airlifted to hospital.
A Parks Victoria spokesman said the agency had reviewed its practices to "ensure all road or track closures are undertaken in the safest manner possible".
He did not specify why the cable was strung across the track.
"We respect the court's ruling and the WorkSafe investigation into this matter," he said.
"We send our best wishes to the young men who were injured during the incident at the Narrawong Flora Reserve."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
- Bookmark https://www.standard.net.au/
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Tap here to open our Google News page.
- Join our Courts and Crime Facebook group and our dedicated Sport Facebook group.
- If you have subscribed, join our subscriber-only Facebook group.