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Stranger raises $10,000 for man, dog hit by car

Posted December 21, 2015

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— There are a lot of random acts of kindness this time of year – it's part of what the holiday season is about.

But a Raleigh woman has gone above and beyond in the last few days for an injured man and his dog.

Last Wednesday, Kunal Chablani and his dog, Tony, were walking across Hillsborough Street when they were hit by a car.

Francine Cronin came across the scene on her way to work.

She saw that, while paramedics were trying to help Chablani, he was dragging himself over to his badly injured dog to try to help it.

She didn't know Chablani, but she said it broke her heart.

"I'm an animal lover," Cronin said. "I have a dog, and I thought, if I was in that exact same situation, my concern would be for my dog as well. I just looked at him, and I told him, 'I will watch out for your dog and don't worry about the vet bills.'"

Tony's bill will be well over $10,000 – a lot more than Cronin had expected.

But she refused to back out of the deal. Cronin set up an online fundraising page that's brought in about $10,000 so far from roughly 300 donors.

She said she's humbled by people's generosity.

Both Chabloni and Tony are on the mend. Chabloni is banged up but not seriously injured. Tony will have a long road to recovery – he had a broken pelvis and a badly broken leg.

Cronin said the heroes in the story are the people who have stepped up to donate.

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Nancy Petty was at the scene, too, and has been helping Cronin raise money. She said Cronin is a great example of what the holiday season is really about.

"When everyone says you’re the hero, I’m like there’s almost 300 heroes out there," Cronin said.

But, Petty said, Cronin is the hero who made it all happen because she had the courage to take a risk to help a man and a dog she’d never met.

"That’s a rare person," Petty said. "But it’s a person who can inspire the rest of us. The next time we’re in one of those situations, what do we want to do? She’s made us believe that we can do amazing things."


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  • Cathi Bert-Roussel Dec 22, 2015
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    Auto insurance covers medical bills for people (up to a point) and property damage (up to the limits set by the policy holder). The dog would have been considered property by the driver's insurance company and as such their limits would apply. The owner could sue the driver for additional damages at his own expense. It is likely that if the driver has insurance the dog owner would recover only some of his medical costs and very little for the dog.

  • Janet Scott Dec 21, 2015
    user avatar

    Beautiful story about a beautiful lady…and a very cute dog. There are angels among us.

  • Sonja Yagel Dec 21, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I agree and laws need to be passed for strict enforcement on people who operate cars without insurance. I wondered too I am sure if the person had insurance they would probably take care of his medical bills, but I don't know if it would cover his dog. It should but who knows. I hope both recover to full health. Thank everyone for donating to a very worthy cause.

  • Aaron Whaley Dec 21, 2015
    user avatar

    Oh I am well aware of the number of drivers on the road with little or no insurance. I have been hit 3 times in 5 years by them. All 3 times while I have been sitting still. The last one is still wending it's way through our ineffective court system. They need to start impounding cars of people that don't have licenses, insurance or are repeat DUI offenders. But it will never happen. Somewhere along the way following the rules went out of fashion.

  • Fenway O'Donnell Dec 21, 2015
    user avatar

    Aaron Whaley - you are assuming the driver had auto insurance. Many folks drive without insurance. My son was in an accident caused by a guy without insurance. My insurance company, not him, paid the repair costs.

  • Aaron Whaley Dec 21, 2015
    user avatar

    The car driver's insurance should be paying for something. Another article said the driver was charged with failure to yield.