ELLE FARCIC AND IAN CUTLER The West Australian
UPDATE: Civil Aviation Safety Authority is investigating the drone incident at yesterday’s Endure Batavia Triathlon.
An experienced triathlete was injured yesterday when an aerial drone crashed to the ground during the Endure Batavia Triathlon in Geraldton.
Raija Ogden, of Perth, said she was hit on the head by the drone when it crashed, denying claims by its owner that she was simply frightened by the machine and fell to the ground.
She labelled the suggestion “horrifying” and said spectators would have seen the drone hit her.
“I have lacerations on my head from the drone and the ambulance crew took a piece of propeller from my head,” she said.
“My hair was completely red with blood. I didn’t hit the ground.
“I sat down because I just thought I was going to pass out.”
Mrs Ogden, wife of triathlete Courtney Ogden, was taken to Geraldton Hospital and received three stitches to her head.
Drone owner Warren Abrams, of New Era Photography and Film, volunteered to use it to provide a live feed of the event.
Mr Abrams said footage taken moments before the accident showed Mrs Ogden looking over her shoulder as the drone came up behind her.
“She looks over her shoulder and gets frightened, falling to the ground and bumping her head, but the drone didn’t actually strike her,” he said.
“I’ve had the drone for more than a year, and this is the first time it’s crashed.”
Mr Abrams said the drone may have been hacked.
He told ABC Radio this morning an investigation showed that someone had “channel-hopped” and taken control of the drone.
Geraldton Triathlon Club president Simon Teakle said an investigation would be held.