21 October 2021

Cop 'mowed down' in Nimmitabel hit and run may never walk again; trio arrested in Canberra

| Albert McKnight
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A burnt-out Audi was tied to the hit and run of a policeman in Nimmitabel. Photo: NSW Police.

Three people have been arrested in Canberra over a hit and run at Nimmitabel that left a police officer so badly injured he may never walk again.

NSW Police had been pursuing a stolen car on the Monaro Highway on 30 August 2021 before its driver got out and entered an Audi sedan, which then hit the policeman.

ACT Policing arrested three people in Yarralumla earlier today (21 October) over the incident: 30-year-old Stephen John McCracken from Coombs, 26-year-old Jaiden Dale Gardner from Yarralumla and 43-year-old Rebecca Keys from O’Malley.

They appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court this afternoon, where detectives from NSW Police sought their extradition.

Court documents show that about 8 pm on 30 August, police learned a Toyota Land Cruiser ute had been stolen from Nimmitabel and was seen driving towards Cooma at high speeds along with a two-door sports car.

READ ALSO Watch the CCTV vision released by police in hit and run investigation

Two senior constables saw the ute, gave chase in their vehicle and tried to get it to stop, but it kept on going until near Tip Road when it stopped in the middle of the Monaro Highway.

Gardner is accused of jumping out of the ute, running towards a white Audi A5 that was driving towards him and, when it got close, he “furiously” banged on its window, the documents say.

The constables parked in front of the ute, then one got out to chase Gardner on foot.

Gardner allegedly got into the Audi, driven, police allege, by McCracken and with Ms Keys allegedly in the passenger seat.

As the constable stood on the road to attempt to stop them getting away, the Audi allegedly accelerated towards then crashed into him.

He was carried about 50 metres along the highway on the car’s bonnet before he was flung to the road and hit his head.

The Audi didn’t stop and allegedly drove at high speed towards Cooma. Police later learned the car had been stolen earlier in August and was found burnt out in the ACT the next month.

After being hit by the car the constable spent eight days in hospital with multiple skull fractures, bleeding on the brain, broken ribs, bruising and prolonged memory loss.

Prosecutor Sam Bargwanna told the Magistrates Court the constable had received life-long and serious injuries and would probably never walk again.

McCracken, who appeared in court with a bandage above his eye, and Ms Keys were extradited to NSW to face the Queanbeyan Local Court on Friday (22 October).

When refusing Gardner bail, Magistrate Glenn Theakston said the alleged facts of the case showed “a very serious example of violence against a police officer” who had been “mowed down” by a car.

Gardner, who is also facing an upcoming trial in the Supreme Court over an unrelated charge, was remanded in custody to 28 October for further consideration of the application to extradite him.

Original Article published by Albert McKnight on The RiotACT.

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