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Crash rider's highway rescue

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2013

BH woman Kate Phillips (left) is credited with saving WA man Mathew Hemsley’s life after he came off his motorbike near Olary. Mr Hemsley was travelling with his fiance Chantelle Hilder (right) and one-year-old daughter Yazmyn but left them to go for a quick ride. BH woman Kate Phillips (left) is credited with saving WA man Mathew Hemsley’s life after he came off his motorbike near Olary. Mr Hemsley was travelling with his fiance Chantelle Hilder (right) and one-year-old daughter Yazmyn but left them to go for a quick ride.

By Erica Visser

Twenty-six-yearold Mathew Hemsley is sure he would have died after falling off his motorbike on Monday night, had it not been for a local woman.

Mr Hemsley, who was on a holiday from Western Australia, was staying in his and fiance Chantelle Hilder's caravan at Olary when he decided to go for a quick ride to clear his head.

The couple were slowly making their way back home after all their holiday money, $8000, was stolen from their caravan a fortnight ago.

Mr Hemsley did not wear a helmet or protective gear as he believed he would only be gone a short while.

He does not recall what happened next, however about 7.30pm on Monday a BH mother, Kate Phillips, was driving home with her mother and children from Adelaide when she came across a battered and bloody looking man limping along the road.

"We were on our way back from Adelaide and I was on kangaroo patrol, because it was that time," Ms Phillips said.

"We were just outside Olary and I found him stumbling along the road.

"I'd been in a bad car accident a couple of years ago where the car had rolled six times, so I knew by the look of him that something serious like that had happened.

"I flew out of the car. At first he didn't know where he was and he was absolutely covered in blood."

Ms Phillips rang emergency services but had to wait about 90 minutes before help arrived.

In the meantime her mother went to find Ms Hilder, who was at the caravan with the couple's one-year-old daughter Yazmyn.

"We weren't allowed to give him pain relief, he was in a really bad way," Ms Phillips.

"I was told it took so long because there is no longer any police at Manna Hill and there were none at Cockburn because they're on holidays."

Ms Phillips said that she had first aid training from studying as a mental health nurse, however no training beyond that.

Still, she was able to keep Mr Hemsley from losing too much blood, while comforting his fiance.

Mr Hemsley had suffered grazes on his shoulder and buttocks, as well as his face and head.

"His eye scared me; it wouldn't stop bleeding," Ms Phillips said.

After assistance arrived, he was transferred to Broken Hill Hospital where he received six stitches to his head.

He will remain there for the next couple of days.

The couple credit Ms Phillips for saving Mr Hemsley's life.

"We're very, very grateful, both of us are," a teary Ms Hilder said.

They hope to return to WA when Mr Hemsley is better.

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