In a very sad story from the ABC comes news that Australia has lost a great sportsman, with the death of a paralympic rifle shooter in a quad bike accident on a property in Queensland’s central-west.
Police have confirmed 59-year-old Ashley Adams from Blackall died yesterday, about 40 kilometres north-west of the town.
The cattle grazier had represented Australia at several Paralympics and world titles in shooting events.
Senior Sergeant Graham Seabrook said investigations were underway and a report was being prepared for the coroner.
“Police received advice from people on the property there had been an incident involving a quad motorcycle,” he said.
“Police attended and confirmed a male person – Ashley Adams – has been involved in an incident on his property where he has fallen from his quad motorcycle and tragically deceased.”
Senior Sergeant Seabrook said Mr Adams had been working on his property when he left other workers for another site after 4:45pm.
“He hadn’t returned – one of those workers went on to search the property and Mr Adams was located at approximately 6:30pm.”
Police attended the property last night and also forensic crash investigators and Workplace Health and Safety were looking into the incident.
President Glenn Tasker said Mr Adams was one of the finest shooters and many in the community were touched by his talent, warmth, wit and humour.
“In fact, it is hard to imagine an Australian Paralympic shooting team without him, such is the impact he has had on our team and the sport.”
“He will long be remembered for his laconic approach to life, typical of the likeable country bloke from rural Queensland who always embraced the challenges ahead of him.”
Mr Adams became a paraplegic after a motor bike accident in 1982.
He competed in five Paralympics since 1996 and had qualified for the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
His best performance was at the 2004 Athens Paralympics where he won a silver and a bronze medal.
He is also a former world champion, winning gold in Spain in the 1998 IPC World Championships in the 50 metre rifle prone event.
Blackall-Tambo Mayor Barry Muir said Mr Adams was a friend, a great man, and contributed enormously to the local community, beef industry and sporting world.
“He was not only an ambassador for Australia, Queensland and Blackall – he was just an all-round good fellow,” he said.
“He never, ever felt sorry for himself – in the last 33 years or so that he has been a paraplegic, he has probably crammed more into his life than any able-bodied person could have done.”
Mr Adams operated a 64,000 hectare property outside of Blackall.
He won an industry Red Meat Producer of the Year award in 2008 for his work in the beef sector.
Councillor Muir said Mr Adams was a positive and inventive man and his beef cattle were his pride.
“He went into a line of special beef – he did a lot of gene therapy research and things like that to upgrade his cattle herd,” he said.
“He is going to be very, very sorely missed, not only around the community but certainly around the world.”
Blackall solicitor and accountant Peter Skewes spoke with ABC Western Queensland about the contribution Mr Adams has made to the local community.
“I think his biggest legacy will be – no matter how hard things are, you can always make a go of it and I think in these times, we need to take that into account,” Mr Skewes said.