Crash claimed doctor months before wedding

2015-12-18 09:19
Doctor Brian Nhlanhla Champion died in car accident on Saturday.

Doctor Brian Nhlanhla Champion died in car accident on Saturday. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Doctor Brian Nhlanhla Champion, who died while traveling from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, was preparing to get married in February.

His friend and colleague who was driving behind him, Mzwakhile Sithole, said they were travelling to a traditional function of another colleague when the accident happened.

Sithole said the road was wet and he suspects that Champion lost control of his vehicle when he changed lanes. “We were all looking forward to Dr Champion’s wedding,” said Sithole, adding that his friend had already paid lobola and was excited about the wedding.

His car rammed into the armco barrier and caught alight.

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo yesterday paid tribute to Champion.

“I understand that passers-by assisted in dragging Dr Champion out of the burning vehicle and he was then transported by an ambulance to Hillcrest Private Hospital where he died.

‘I am very saddened by the sudden death of this colleague, who completed his MBCHB at Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in 2010.

Champion served his two-year internship at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital and did his community service at Hlabisa Hospital, where he spent three years serving people in the rural community of uMkhanyakude District.

He came back to Durban and worked as a medical officer at Addington Hospital before venturing to open his own practice in Newlands West.

“Dr Champion will be sorely missed,’ said Dhlomo.

His high school friend Sabelo Nyuswa said Champion had persevered against all odds to become a doctor.

“He comes from a poverty-stricken background. He was very humble. Even after he had made it, he remained humble,” he said.

Nyuswa, who went to Umtapho High School with Champion from Grade 8 until they matriculated, said he was due to meet Champion next week.

“We met in Durban last Thursday and I told him that I wanted him to be my children’s doctor.

“He invited me to come and see his surgery next week. That was the last time I saw him,” said Nyuswa.

Champion’s funeral service will be held in Ntuzuma this coming weekend.

He leaves behind his parents, fiancée and two children.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accident

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