Suspicious drone strike takes out triathlete

Transportation // Geraldton, Australia

The owner of a remote-controlled helicopter, which fell and reportedly hit a runner competing in a race in Western Australia, said the device was hacked into.

The drone was filming competitors in the Endure Batavia Triathlon on Sunday morning, when the operator lost control.

The drone allegedly struck Raija Ogden on the head and she dropped to the ground.

Raija is the wife of defending champ Courtney Ogden who came in second place shortly after the incident occurred, according to Everything Geraldton .

“There have been conflicting accounts about whether Ms. Ogden was hit by the drone or whether she fell and was injured after being startled by it,” ABC reports.

Local videographer Warren Abrams, the device’s owner said that “it was a deliberate act and it would be difficult to determine who was responsible as something as common as a mobile phone could be used to perform a channel hop,” according to the broadcaster.

Channel hopping is a form of hacking which can render a drone uncontrollable to its original operator.

Abrams said video footage clearly shows the drone drop just behind the woman.

The videographer added that there had been a similar incident when the drone was flown earlier in the day.

Operators of all unmanned drones used for commercial purposes in Australia are required to be certified, according to ABC.

“Neither Mr Abrams nor his business appear on the list of the 92 operators certified nationally,” the broadcaster reports.

Raija sustained head injuries and is in stable condition at a hospital.

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