A family is seeking justice after the driver who left their two-year-old son permanently brain damaged avoided jail.

Kai Khetani was just two when he and his grandfather were hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing in Kenton Road on August 26, 2016.

Shivji Patel, then 59, and his grandson Kai were crossing the road outside Claremont High School when a car hit Shivji, sending two-year-old Kai flying into the air.

Kai’s father, Rakesh Khetani, 33, from Stanmore, received a call from his mother-in-law after the incident.

He said: “When I arrived, I could see police and the air ambulance service. Then I saw Kai on the floor and I was all over the place. I went straight to tears.”

Kai was airlifted to Royal London Hospital while his grandfather was taken in an ambulance.

Kai suffered severe head trauma and fractures to his legs and hips. His grandfather had a broken shoulder and ankle, as well as head injuries.

After an operation to relieve pressure on his brain, Kai was taken to St Ormond’s Children’s Hospital and placed on a life support machine.

Rakesh said of his only child: “I just hoped he would survive.”

Kai remained on life support until September while his parents moved into temporary accommodation. Two weeks later, doctors told Rakesh and Niyutee that Kai would not survive.

“We were by his side every day,” Rakesh said. “We were devastated. We had to let him go.”

On September 16, 2016 doctors switched off Kai’s support machine. Kai’s family came to the hospital to say goodbye while his parents waited.

“At 8pm, a nurse came upstairs and said Kai was breathing by himself. It was a miracle, we call him our superhero.”

Kai was discharged on October 5, severely brain damaged. He was cared for at Northwick Park Hospital and then at the Children’s Trust until July 2017.

He requires 24-hour care. He cannot speak or walk and may be partially blind. He has regular seizures, has to be fed through a tube and is on four or five medications.

With Kai facing a life of disability, his family is furious at the sentence given to the man who hit him.

Ben Etheridge, 23 of Hillingdon pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Harrow Crown Court on October 5, 2017. He was sentenced on March 23, 2018.

He received a three-month curfew, a three-year driving ban, 240 hours community service and a two-year suspended sentence.

The Khetani family will appeal the dangerous driving sentence 

Ealing Times:

Rakesh said: “I was absolutely fuming. I would love for him to see Kai in his mobility buggy to see what he had done.

Rakesh, who drives for the prison system, now works part-time and Niyutee has stopped working as a dental nurse to care for Kai. They live with support workers who help them care for their son.

The family has launched a civil case against the driver.

The Khetani family have written to Harrow East MP, Bob Blackman to appeal to the Attorney General on their behalf.

Niyutee said: “We feel very disappointed by the decision. Justice has not been done for Kai and the repercussions should be more severe.”

Rakesh added: “I work for the courts. I’ve been back to Harrow a few times, but I feel like shouldn’t go back there because they let me down.”

MP Bob Blackman wrote to the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, in late-March appealing the sentence. He also raised the issue in the House of Commons to determine whether he can raise the full case in a debate.

Mr Blackman said: “I want the family to feel justice has been served given the circumstances and life-changing injuries inflicted upon the young boy.”

Mr Blackman is awaiting a response from the Attorney General.

The Khetanis have since raised £11,000 for The Children’s Trust and £20,000 for Great Ormond Street.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/niyutee-khetani1
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Niyutee-Khetani