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Teen's 'miracle' after hit-and-run

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: September 27, 2012

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A TEENAGE cyclist was fighting for his life after being left bleeding at the side of the road by a hit-and-run driver.

Josh Pettet, 19, suffered serious internal injuries in the crash which happened just outside Ottery St Mary near King's School, where he was a former pupil.

He was struck by a car as he cycled the five miles to work as an apprentice at the Thirsty Farmer in Whimple, a trip he made twice a day to cover different shifts.

The car involved failed to stop and emergency services were called in by following motorists who also alerted Josh's parents.

Josh was initially taken to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital before being taken by ambulance to Derriford where he underwent a five-hour operation to insert metal plates around his fractured pelvis.

A further operation was planned to insert a 6in screw at the top of his pelvis.

His mother Rachel Pettet said it was "a miracle" that Josh, of Tip Hill, Ottery St Mary, had survived.

The accident happened just outside the town, on the road to Exeter at around 5.30pm on Thursday, September 13.

A police spokesman said the vehicle involved failed to stop after the accident and they were anxious to hear from any witnesses or anyone who knew anything to contact them on 101 quoting reference number 578 of September 13.

Ms Pettet said Josh, who was half way through his catering apprenticeship from Exeter College, was very popular in Ottery St Mary and has many friends.

"We were lucky that those following behind him on that day knew us and were able to tell us what happened after they called the emergency services," she said.

"I was at home when his father called to tell me that Josh had been knocked off his bike. We rushed to the scene and found Josh lying in the road being tended to. He was still conscious but was in agony.

"He was taken to the RD&E by ambulance and I followed in the car. They told me he had a pelvic fracture, and then shocked me by saying it was the least life-threatening of pelvic fractures. I didn't know they could be.

"He went straight into intensive care and was there all night, with the operating theatre on standby in case they needed to stop the internal bleeding. He had CTC scans and X-rays.

"He was there in ITC all Friday and then he was blue lighted to Derriford and the specialist orthopaedic unit.

"He was in a terrible state when he arrived and went into intensive care. They had to wait for the injury to stabilise before he underwent a five-hour operation to insert metal plates around then pelvis.

"I cannot fault the care he has received at the RD&E and Derriford. I have been visiting him every day. It has been a terrible time."

Ms Pettet said while Josh was her only concern, she was anxious to help police track down the driver who failed to stop.

"If anyone can help they should contact the police on 101," she said.

Sergeant Nick Bloomfield, from the police serious collisions unit, said police were anxious to speak to the owner of a silver car which was believed to have been involved in this collision.

Sgt Bloomfield said: "This vehicle was described as being a Renault or possibly a Vauxhall.

"There will be damage to the nearside of this vehicle. If any vehicles of this description have been brought in to local garages with accident damage to the nearside then the police would be keen to speak to the owners of such vehicles."

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