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‘This is unreal’ — Injured veteran receives new scooter after hit and run

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — James Pettigrew's eyes filled with tears the moment he saw it coming his way. Rich Pavey rode a red scooter down a driveway that led to the  veteran’s apartment. When it arrived closer to his doorstep, the 61-year-old Vietnam veteran took one look at it and cried.

“I'm sorry,” said Pettigrew wiping his eyes as he sat on the scooter. “I’m sorry. It’s just, It’s like unreal. It’s unreal.”

After 11 months, he said, of going back-and-forth with the Veterans Affairs office about getting a new scooter to replace the one that was demolished in a hit-and-run crash last May —that put him in a coma for months —he finally has a new one.

“This looked like you had the one that had air tires on it,” said Pavey. “Our grandpa had the same one and then they got a replacement and this is the one they gave him for a replacement.”

Like Pettigrew, Pavey’s grandfather was a veteran. When he saw Pettigrew’s story on FOX 17 earlier this week, he said he and his wife Jessi knew what to do with their grandfather's old scooter.

“We seen that he didn’t have this scooter and we knew that we had one," said Pavey.  "We didn’t need it. So there was no reason for him to be without one.”

After watching the report, Pavey wiped down the scooter and charged it for Pettigrew. He then put it in the back of his pick-up truck and hauled it out to him from Kalamazoo. The moment Pettigrew saw it, he loved it he said. It was the same color, make and model as his old one.

“For the rest of the year I’m going to be in shock ‘cause this is unreal,” said Pettigrew smiling. “I feel like Cinderella but only Cinderfella.”

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