By Tui Benjamin
A horrified bystander captured the moment a ‘ballsy’ skateboarder diced with death after an epic fail during a risky stunt on an iconic New Zealand bridge.
Cameron Ward was shocked to see the adrenaline junkie attempt to ride down the arch of Hamilton’s Fairfield Bridge during rush hour traffic on Friday.
As he watched, the 30-year-old witnessed the skateboarder plummet onto a narrow pedestrian footpath – narrowly missing falling into the path of cars or plunging down the 15 metre drop into the fast-flowing Waikato River below.
The identity of the skateboarder is currently unknown, and police are yet to confirm whether they are investigating the incident.
Cameron, from Hamilton, said: “I was coming home from work when I passed him on the bridge. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it.
“When I got home, from my backyard I could still see him standing up there.
“I was worried for him while I was watching, wondering what I would do if I saw him fall into the river.
“I think he was trying to see if he could get back up over the arch to the other side but obviously he didn’t get the physics quite right.
“The Fairfield bridge is quite an iconic bridge in Hamilton – I think everyone who knows it has probably thought about doing something like that, but would never actually do something so crazy.
“He is so lucky that when he fell he landed on a narrow footpath.
“It was 5pm on a Friday, so there were lots of vehicles driving over the bridge, and on the other side there is a 15 metre drop down to the Waikato River, which is fast-flowing, so it was very dangerous.”
Cameron said the man looked familiar to him, because he had been seen doing BMX stunts on the bridge previously, but that he does not know his identity.
When he uploaded his footage to social media it went viral, racking up thousands of views.
Cameron added: “Out of everyone who has watched the video people have been split – some people were saying he was ballsy but others were saying what an idiot he was.”
Waikato Road Policing Manager Inspector Marcus Lynam said: “This is a reckless and dangerous stunt that put the skateboarder and other motorists at risk.
“It’s sheer luck no one was killed or seriously injured.
“The matter was not reported to police at the time but anyone who witnesses reckless behaviour like this is encouraged to call 111 immediately.
“Police take stunts like this extremely seriously and anyone endangering other road users could face serious charges.”