Veteran injured in hit-and-run demands answers and justice

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- James Pettigrew, 60, is thankful to be alive. FOX 17 had a chance to speak with him today at Hope Network's rehabilitation facility in Grand Rapids.

Pettigrew's family reached out to FOX 17 because he wants answers about the person accused of hitting him. The veteran doesn't take movement for granted.

"It's been a struggle," Pettigrew said.

He was already physically challenged before the accident. But on May 14, someone took the ability to walk away from him.

Pettigrew said he was riding his motorized scooter in the bike lane on Goodale Street in Battle Creek that evening and was headed to Bronson Hospital to visit his girlfriend. Instead, he became the victim of a hit and run. He's now living with the physical and emotional pain inflicted by a nameless, faceless driver.

"How could you leave me like garbage? I was just a dog in the street to you," Pettigrew said of the driver.

Battle Creek Police said they found Pettigrew unresponsive in the middle of the road and an ambulance rushed him to Bronson with shattered legs.

"They went looking, and they found this dude. They towed his car and put him in jail," Pettigrew recalled.

The arrest came the very next day. Police said they found the Chevy Impala with parts of Pettigrew's scooter stuck to the car. He laid in the hospital for two months recovering before transferring here to Hope Network for rehabilitation.

"The whole crew over here. They got me moving. They got me doing things. This is some place you can recover at. You can really recover here," Pettigrew said.

He said, "I couldn't be in a better place."

But Pettigrew continues to wait for justice for the person who allegedly left him for dead.

"To my knowledge he got out, and it's been bugging me ever since to find out what happened to him," he said.

FOX 17 talked to Battle Creek police this afternoon.

They said after the initial arrest, the prosecutor said he needed more information before moving forwarded with charges. This afternoon, the Calhoun County prosecutor said the charges are still pending, however, something should be happening soon.

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