CLOSE CALL: Ben Bird was lucky to escape with just a graze when he rode into a mantrap in Amamoor State Forest. Any faster and he could have been decapitated, police say.
CLOSE CALL: Ben Bird was lucky to escape with just a graze when he rode into a mantrap in Amamoor State Forest. Any faster and he could have been decapitated, police say. Contributed

Gympie man lucky to be alive after riding into sick mantrap

A WIRE mantrap capable of decapitating motorcyclists gave Langshaw resident Ben Bird a horrifying brush with injury when he crashed into it while riding in Amamoor State Forest on Tuesday afternoon.

Checking fencing on an adjoining paddock, the cattle property caretaker was riding on the well-used public track when he was struck around the neck by the trip-wire, jerked upwards and thrown from his bike.

Even at the low-speed of 15kmh, Mr Bird had not seen the razor-thin tie strung between two trees, just one kilometre from the Gympie Music Muster site.

TERROR WIRE: A wire tied between trees across a forestry bike track could have seriously injured Langshaw's Ben Bird when it knocked him from his bike on Tuesday.
TERROR WIRE: A wire tied between trees across a forestry bike track could have seriously injured Langshaw's Ben Bird when it knocked him from his bike on Tuesday. Ben Bird

The crash left him with grazes to the neck, but also the chilling thought of what would have happened had it been the weekend when the motorbike adventurer rides at faster speeds on the track with friends.

"I only just took off on the bike and I was looking at the fence line," Mr Bird said.

"When I ran into it, it jerked me off the bike, and I fell down.

"Lucky I wasn't going too fast or it would have been game over."

 

LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Ben Bird holds the wire that could have decapitated him if he had been riding faster when he ran into it in the forestry.
LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: Ben Bird holds the wire that could have decapitated him if he had been riding faster when he ran into it in the forestry. "II'll probably make use of it for fixing up some fences," he said. Contributed

Imbil police acting sergeant Bill Greer said while the act was not common in the region it was a very worrying one and those responsible could be charged with "setting mantraps" and face up to three years imprisonment.

"It is a pretty major concern, it would be easy to decapitate someone," he said.

A similar incident involving a motorcyclist and a barbed-wire fence erected across a roadway in Amamoor State Forest years ago had caused serious injury, while more than two decades ago a motorcyclist was killed in Maryborough when he ran into a wire trap, Sgt Greer said.

 

Ben Bird was lucky to walk away with only graze to the neck when he crashed into
Ben Bird was lucky to walk away with only graze to the neck when he crashed into "mantrap" in Amamoor State Forest on Tuesday. Contributed

"It has the potential to kill and it does and has happened.

"I have no doubt if you caught it just under the helmet it would decapitate instantly.

"The reality is if you kill someone, you could be up for homicide," he said.

Sgt Greer, who is jointly investigating the incident with Queensland park and Wildlife, said the motive would unlikely "be for fun" but rather out of frustration over people using the public track that abuts private property.

Ben Bird
Ben Bird Contributed

Mr Bird shared his experience on social media, alarming readers enough to share it more than 7500 times and entice 2600 comments.

Many described the act as sick and disgusting, while some knew people who had been injured by crashing into similar traps.

The 25-year-old motorbike enthusiast, who had been riding since he was five, said the sport was now tarnished.

"I will constantly be worrying about it," he said.

"I feel very luck, but very uneasy."

 

Ben Bird has been riding a motorbike since he was five and has never come across a mantrap before.
Ben Bird has been riding a motorbike since he was five and has never come across a mantrap before. Contributed