EXCLUSIVE: Busted-up bungy king Hackett lucky to be alive

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The Kiwi king of bungy – fresh from 25th celebrations in Queenstown – is lucky to be alive after a high-speed head-on road smash.

AJ Hackett’s wife Amanda is hailing his quick swerve to avoid a full-frontal collision with an oncoming car – and says his instinctive reactions probably saved their lives and those of her three kids in the back seat.

“Oh my God, he is my f…ing hero. I’m just so grateful,” Amanda tells Mountain Scene, speaking publicly for the first time since last Thursday’s brush with death.

Two days prior Hackett was in Queenstown with bungy co-founder Henry van Asch for the big 25th birthday bash at their original Kawarau Bridge site – now he’s laid up in his Hawke’s Bay home with two broken ankles.

Hackett, who expects to be confined to a wheelchair for weeks, says he was only half an hour from his home when the oncoming car pulled suddenly into his lane, attempting to pass a truck.

The bungy pioneer, who famously bungy jumped off France’s Eiffel Tower in 1987 and started an adventure tourism sensation, estimates the two vehicles ended up doing a “head-on swipe” at a combined speed of about 190 kilometres per hour.

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