Newport teenager's spine saved by backpack
7:02pm Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
19 year old Blake Johnson of St. Julian's was knocked off his motorbike in a hit and run incident, Blake is pictured with his father Neil Johnson (891947)
A TEENAGER said he has been told he is lucky to be alive after an early morning hit-and-run incident.
Blake Johnson, 19, of Gainsborough Drive Newport, says he will not be able to walk for at least three months after he was knocked off his motorbike by a car at around 5.45am last Friday.
Doctors told him it was only thanks to a backpack that he was wearing that his spine was saved.
Now police are appealing for information after it was reported that the car failed to stop following the incident.
Mr Johnson, who was on his way to Iceland where he works part-time, had passed through the traffic lights on Caerleon road pn Friday when a car came out of Usk Road.
He said the car attempted to swerve out of the way of the bike, but Mr Johnson hit the front wing of the car.
CCTV footage shows Mr Johnson landing on the other side of Chepstow road which he says was some 20ft away. He added that the damaged car drove off without stopping towards Maindee.
Mr Johnson said: “Because of the adrenalin I stood straight up and took my helmet off, but then my foot gave way and I fell.
“When I looked down, my knee was straight but my ankle was flat. My leg was like a golf club.”
Two of Mr Johnson’s colleagues were on their way to work when they saw the debris and stopped to call an ambulance. Mr Johnson was taken to Newport's Royal Gwent hospital where his ankle was operated on on Friday afternoon.
Mr Johnson dislocated and snapped his ankle, snapped a tendon and broke a leg as well as suffering multiple bruises and grazes.
The bike debris was removed from the scene but the family have yet to collect it.
Mr Johnson’s father, Neil, 43, has spoken to the company holding the bike and he said: “They said when it came in they said ‘leave that bike there because that’s going to be a fatality’. I’ve been told not to let my wife see the bike.”
Mr Johsnon was wearing a helmet and motorbike jacket and had a towel and two drink cans in his backpack, which took a lot of the impact when he fell.
His father said: “We were told that the backpack saved his spine.
“He’s a typical teenager. He doesn’t realise how lucky he’s been.”
The dad has now appealed to friends on Facebook to find the missing vehicle.
Mr Johnson, a Coleg Gwent plumbing student, is now recovering at home.
A Gwent police spokeswoman said: "We got a call at 5.50am reporting a collision involving a motorbike and a car that had failed to stop. Inquiries are ongoing."
Anyone with information should call Gwent Police and quote 'log56, August 16'.