/ 6 April 2009

Police change charges after Mackay death

The investigation into Brumbies rugby player Shawn Mackay’s death will be changed to culpable homicide, from the original negligent driving, following his death on Monday, police said.

”It will be investigated like all other accidents and when the investigation is finalised, it will be handed to the director of public prosecutions to decide whether anybody should be prosecuted,” said police spokesperson Director Phindile Radebe.

No one has yet been arrested for the accident.

Durban’s St Augustine’s Hospital said 26-year-old Mackay died at 3.35am on Monday after sustaining serious injuries in a road accident outside a Durban club on the morning of March 29.

Brumbies spokesperson Nick Smith told Sapa that Mackay died after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

”He had a chest infection, that caused the cardiac arrest,” Smith said.

The hospital said, however, that the cause of death is not yet certain, as a post mortem will only be performed on Tuesday.

Mackay had been in hospital, critically ill with multiple injuries, after he was hit by an armed response car in a Durban street.

Team officials said Mackay had shown some positive signs after being brought out of a medically induced coma late last week and underwent surgery.

”After his surgery Shawn contracted an infection in his bloodstream,” said Brumbies’ chief executive, Andrew Fagan, news agencies reported.

Smith said no preparations have been made to take Mackay’s body back to Australia yet. The team returned to Australia on Monday morning (South African time) and team manager and doctor, Rob McQuad and Warren McDonald, visited Mackay’s parents on Monday.

”The team is naturally upset, especially as Shawn was such a popular member of the team,” he said.

”We will pull together. In the last 10 days Shawn was never far away from the team’s thoughts. We are committed to press on and finish the job that we started,” he said about the team’s plans for the rest of the season.

Netcare also offered its condolences.

”On behalf of Netcare St Augustine’s, I wish to express our sincere condolences and deep sadness at Shawn’s untimely passing to the Mackay family, Shawn’s partner Trish and his team mates.

”Our thoughts are with you during this extremely difficult time,” said hospital general manager Augusta Dorning. — Sapa