Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Brumbies forward Shawn Mackay died on Monday morning in a Durban hospital after complications following being hit by an armed response security vehicle outside a nightclub eight days earlier. Mackay was just twenty six.
Mackay had been out with fellow Brumbies players after their loss to the Sharks in the Super 14 earlier that day. The incident took place at roughly 4:15am when they were leaving a club in Umgeni road, Durban.
The statement from the driver of the vehicle documented that he had slowed down to the speed limit when he saw people around. Mackay apparently crossed the road, before turning back again, in front of the car.
Mackay was admitted to St Augustine's Hospital with a cervical spinal fracture and dislocation, a fractured skull as well as a broken leg and multiple facial fractures after being struck by the vehicle.
He had shown positive signs days after the incident, so news of his death had come as a shock after he had been brought out of his medically induced coma last week.
He developed an infection in his bloodstream, and his condition deteriorated rapidly, leading to his passing on Monday morning.
It is a black day in Australian rugby and Australian sport generally. For a tragedy like that to happen is terrible, Australian lock Nathan Sharpe said.
Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, in South Africa with the national team, passed on the side's condolences after he'd spent time with Brumbies players and Mackay's parents over the weekend.
Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill said Mackay was "a credit to the game of rugby, and much loved by all who knew him."
"This news today has shocked not only the rugby world but the entire sporting fraternity given the friends Shawn had across the various codes."
South African Rugby have announced that a moment's silence would be observed before upcoming matches in the country this weekend.