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Student to make ‘full recovery’ after hit and run at Old Steine

A Sussex Masters student has been discharged from hospital following a hit-and-run in Brighton just over a fortnight ago.

Dave Duce, a 21-year-old Masters student, was left seriously injured having been hit by a car believed to be travelling around 40 miles per hour in the crossing between Old Steine and St James’s Street.

The History postgraduate was discharged from East Grinstead hospital on Wednesday, February 10 and will return to his studies this week.  The incident, which shattered his left ankle, took place in the early hours of Thursday, January 28 at around 2:45am.

After being taken to hospital by ambulance, David has had to have four operations to repair his left ankle. Despite the damage to his ankle, which will mean he will have to use crutches for a few months, doctors have told him that he is expected to make a full recovery due to his young age, but could not give him a 100% guarantee he will get full strength back in his foot.

David was helped by two friends who witnessed the event and called the ambulance.  They had just been on a History social at The Globe, the Students’ Union pub near the seafront.

One of them, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Badger: “Dave was a few steps ahead of us as we crossed the road, suddenly a car was approaching very quickly from our left. As Dave took a step forward the car struck his left ankle and he was spun around before hitting the floor. By the time any of us realised how serious the collision had been, the car had screeched around the roundabout by the pier and down the Kings Road.”

In a recent interview with The Argus, David said:  “I think what makes me really angry is that the driver did not stop.

“How can they do that? They must have known they made contact with me. I do feel angry they did not stop. How can you look at yourself in the mirror?”

David has become well-known at Sussex for his acting with the campus society SUDs, live performances as guitarist in local band The Levity, and involvement in the rugby team, having been a fresher in 2012.  Before embarking on his Masters, for which he was eligible for a £10,000 grant from the university, he graduated with a first in his History undergraduate degree.

There has been a spate of hit-and-runs in Brighton in recent months. David, popular amongst students and staff, has warned students to be careful in Brighton.

On Facebook, he spoke frankly of his ordeal, “This has been the worst moment of my life. I won’t mince words in stating that the physical and emotional trauma has left a lasting mark on me, but it’ll take more than a cars bonnet and four operations to quell my sense of humour, I can guarantee you that,” he said.

David went on to warn fellow pedestrians: “Everyone must be careful. I was not completely hammered and I did not stumble into the road. This could have happened to anyone. All too often we read about accidents in the news that happen to someone else.”

Since the incident, David has received a wave of condolences and support, in public and in private, from Sussex professors, students and Students’ Union officers.

Police are investigating. Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting serial 101 of January 28. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Paul Millar

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