KZN councillor hurt in US hit-and-run

2013-01-11 10:37
Msunduzi councillor Mergan Chetty recovers in the Pietermaritzburg Medi-Clinic after being injured in a hit-and-run accident in the US. (Kyle Venktess, The Witness)

Msunduzi councillor Mergan Chetty recovers in the Pietermaritzburg Medi-Clinic after being injured in a hit-and-run accident in the US. (Kyle Venktess, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Well-known Msunduzi councillor Mergan Chetty is recovering in Pietermaritzburg’s Medi-Clinic after he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in the US recently.

Chetty, who had planned to spend Christmas and New Year in Dallas with his two sons, was cycling when a black SUV hit him and drove off.

The DA councillor told The Witness that things were going well until the second week of his holiday.

“A guy jumped the traffic light and knocked me down,” he said.

Multiple fractures

Fortunately for Chetty, a woman who was driving behind the car that hit him stopped and assisted him. She called 911 and the fire department and an ambulance arrived.

“I passed out for a while. One minute I was being stabilised, the next I was in an ambulance,” he recalled.

He sustained multiple fractures to his right ankle and spent about a week, including Christmas and New Year, at the Medical Centre of Plano in Texas, before coming back home to have an operation here.

“I decided to come back because my family is here,” said Chetty, adding that his family didn’t know about the accident until he was back.

“I didn’t want to upset them.”

Chetty endured 15 hours on a flight from the US and is now at the Pietermaritzburg Medi-Clinic, where he had an operation on his ankle on Wednesday.

Although he is still in pain, he said his iPad has made being in hospital bearable.

“Thank God for my iPad. I can work, check e-mails and Facebook,” he said, adding that he has never been in hospital before.

The councillor said he misses driving and more importantly, his independence.

“Mostly because here you are reliant on people to move you around.”


However, he counts himself lucky because he now realises that things could have been worse, especially after hearing about the death of Burry Stander, the cyclist who was hit by a minibus taxi.

“Lives have been lost. I was shocked to hear about Burry Stander’s death. Our hearts go out to his family.”

He said he would send a thank you note and a gift to the woman who helped him after the accident.

After spending more than two weeks in hospital, Chetty said he should be out next week.

He said his accident was reported to the police, but there have been no arrests yet.

Read more on:    us  |  pietermaritzburg

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