Justin on the mend in Peruvian hospital

RECOVERING: Justin Birchall recovering in a Peru hospital
RECOVERING: Justin Birchall recovering in a Peru hospital

THE Hapton businessman injured in the dangerous Dakar Rally is recovering well in a Peru hospital.

Justin Birchall, operations director of Birchall Foodservice in Hapton, was one of three men badly injured in an accident in the South American country which claimed the lives of two people.

Justin, who had been forced to abandon the race shortly before, was travelling in a Land Rover Defender with John Winskill and Lee Townsend when the team support vehicle was involved in a collision in which two Peruvian civilians died.

The trio were transferred to a hospital close to the scene in Tacna, Peru, before being flown to a hospital in the capital city Lima for further tests and treatment. The three team members are described as stable and recovering well.

In a joint statement they said: “We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of the two people who lost their lives in the tragic incident that took place. We would also like to wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were hurt alongside ourselves.

“Our thanks and gratitude go out to the hospital staff and authorities from Tacna and Lima for their help and for treating us with such kindness and respect which has been so typical of the Peruvian people throughout ourr stay.

“We greatly appreciate the organisers of the Dakar Rally who assisted us both personally and behind the scenes throughout the rally and after the accident.”

Justin, from Middop, was part of the Race2Recovery team – the first ever disabled team to enter the world famous rally which covers 9,000km over 15 days on a route through Peru, Argentina and Chile. Only 40% of those who enter finish the race.