McCallen pays tribute to medical hero

Dr John Hinds at the Tandragee 100 in 2013
Dr John Hinds at the Tandragee 100 in 2013

Phillip McCallen who often ‘biked’ with Dr John Hinds at the NW 200 – and also lives in Tandragee – has described his death as “the shocking loss of a man who was simply unique”.

Phillip won 11 times at the North West when Dr Hinds also competed. And he was full of praise for the doctor, “His work and expertise is best summed up in the case of French rider Franck Petricola, who sadly died last month at the Isle of Man TT.” Franck was critically injured in the 2014 North West, sustaining a head injury, two broken vertebrae, two fractured arms and other injuries.

Said Phillip, “John was on the scene within minutes, and his work – allied to the safety bales – kept Franck alive and he was back at the North West this year.”

However, the 32-year-old’s luck ran out on June 3 this year at the Manx event, when he was killed during practice.

Said Phillip, “It sums up the dangers of the racing scene and shows the dedication of men like John Hinds who loved the sport and who did everything to ensure the safety of the riders. It is so sad and ironic that he should lose his own life while helping others. He was revered in the sport and we are all the richer for having known him.”

Lord Mayor Darryn Causby of the ABC Council said, “I am deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of Dr John Hinds. He had a great passion to help others injured as a result of road racing and saved so many lives. I extend my sincere condolences to his family.”