PEOPLE who set wire traps for trailbike riders have been warned they face jail terms after a teen was lucky to not be killed when a neck-high wire trace catapulted him off his machine.
Mitchell Stockdale, 16, believes his helmet saved his life after the wire, tied between trees on a well-used track at Aberdare, struck him on the chest before moving up to his throat and head.
The accident happened on Tuesday and what horrified Mitchell’s concerned mother, as well as police, was the appearance of another wire trap at the same spot the following day.
‘‘If he isn’t wearing a helmet, I have lost a son,’’ Vanessa Downes said.
‘‘And if he had taken his brother [nine-year-old Brendan] like he was supposed to, I could have lost both of them.
‘‘I haven’t been able to sleep much the last couple of nights.
‘‘Every time I close my eyes I see his body in one spot and his head in another.’’
She said the wire was tighter when it was put back up.
‘‘If he had’ve hit that he would have lost his head.
‘‘The police had trouble getting the wire down it was so tight.’’
Mitchell said he was travelling between 40km/h and 50km/h along the track when he saw something shiny.
‘‘It was only at the last second and by then it was too late,’’ he said.
‘‘Next thing I was on the ground, it was that fast.’’
Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector John Zdrilic said police were treating the incident seriously.
‘‘To endanger another person to the point of causing them serious injury, or worse, is a serious criminal offence,’’ Detective Inspector Zdrilic said.
‘‘Although it is still unclear what the motive is behind it, it is completely unacceptable behaviour which will not be tolerated.’’
There is a theory the perpetrator may be a disgruntled resident trying to send a message to noisy trailbike riders.
People caught making the wire traps could face an old charge of setting a trap to injure, which can attract a five-year jail term.
It could also be seen as a serious assault charge, endangering life count or, if a person is killed, manslaughter.
‘‘Officers believe if the youth had been coming from the other direction the injuries could have been much worse,’’ Detective Zdrilic said.