Doctors save leg after crime fighter hit by stolen vehicle


BRAVE STAND: Brad Craig suffered appalling leg injuries (top and bottom of page) after he confronted a gang of alleged car thieves outside his home in Springfield Lakes.
BRAVE STAND: Brad Craig suffered appalling leg injuries (top and bottom of page) after he confronted a gang of alleged car thieves outside his home in Springfield Lakes. Rob Williams

AN Ipswich man is on the long road to recovery after almost losing his leg in a hit-and-run collision.

Brad Craig was hit by a stolen car carrying two teenagers after disturbing a gang of car thieves.

A collection of X-rays and photographs taken during Mr Craig's two-week stays in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital tells the story best.

His right leg was snapped just below the knee and down near the ankle, leaving shards of bone protruding through the skin after the tyre of the stolen Mazda 3 ran over him. The car kept going.

The drama unfolded in the early hours of December 12 when Mr Craig, 35, carried out a citizen's arrest on a teenager suspected of breaking into cars outside his home in Eden Cr, Springfield Lakes.

While he was holding the youth down, he noticed a vehicle approaching at speed.

He called on one of his neighbours to wait with the teen while he ran over towards the car, trying to flag it down.

Mr Craig said the vehicle then ran into him and he was knocked to the ground, his leg bones shattering under the car's wheels.

"I heard a loud crack - almost like a small head-on collision between two cars - I knew my leg was gone," he said.

"As soon as I hit the ground I was looking at the car trying to see the rego, but my eyes started going fuzzy."

Damage to the leg was so severe that surgeons had to operate three times - including a separate surgery for skin grafts where a large section of bone splintered through the skin.

At one stage surgeons told Mr Craig and his wife Belinda that the lower leg might have to be amputated because of the severity of the compound fracture. Luckily it was saved - albeit with the help of plates, pins and screws.

Mr Craig was able to make it home on Christmas Eve, but he now faces three months off his feet and away from his job as a mechanic.

"People have asked me if I would do it again," Mr Craig said. "If I had the chance, I would. I have no regrets about it. We work too hard for what we've got."

Three males aged 17, 16 and 13 have been charged over offences committed on the night that Mr Craig was injured.

The oldest has been remanded in custody to face Ipswich Magistrates Court again on January 16.

The 13-year-old will face Ipswich Children's Court on January 21, while the 16-year-old will face the Children's Court on January 14.

Topics:  hit-and-run princess alexandra hospital vehicle theft

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