A grandfather remained in critical condition Thursday after police said he sacrificed himself to save his newborn granddaughter.
James Lewin, 65, was out Friday night walking with his wife, two grandchildren, his daughter and her husband. They were heading home after the annual Candlelight Walk and Tree Lighting ceremony in downtown Littleton.
Lewin was pushing his 12-day-old granddaughter, Sara, in a stroller. They were entering a crosswalk at South Price Street and West Church Avenue when a Dodge pickup truck turned from Prince Street onto Church Avenue and hit Lewin, police said.
Lewin pushed Sarah's stroller out of harm's way just before he was struck by the truck, witnesses said. The family's Web site
said the truck dragged Lewin 75 feet after it hit him.
Thanks to her grandfather's quick thinking, Sara was not hurt.
"He pushed the stroller so hard, the stroller's axle bent and the handle was broken from Jim shoving the stroller away," said Carol Lewin, his wife.
Jim Lewin was taken to Swedish Hospital where he remains in critical condition. Carol told 7NEWS that Lewin has a fractured left wrist, a dissected artery in his neck which has caused several strokes, six fractured ribs, a bruised lung, multiple facial fractures, a broken nose, and a horrible road rash all over his body.
He is breathing with help from a ventilator and has his entire abdomen stitched up. He is heavily sedated but responds well when he can hear his 3-year-old grandson, Brian, speak, Carol said.
"When Suzanne brought Brian in to see him and Brian said, 'I love you grandpa,' he went crazy with movement, flailing his left arm, moving his feet, trying to either talk or get the breathing tube out of his mouth," Carol said.
Carol said that his injuries could have been much worse, and credits the family's faith for the baby's survival and Jim's recovery.
"The baby wasn't hurt. There were tons of caring people around ... It happened right in front of Columbine Ambulance Service so they were right there. Jim was at the hospital within 20 minutes," Carol said. "The doctors are very pleased and amazed at Jim's progress."
Lewin was a firefighter in Los Angeles County for 29 years. He retired with his wife to Durango, Colo., in 1999.
The driver of the Dodge, who has not been identified, was cited for careless driving resulting in injury. Accident investigators are still reconstructing the accident, and more charges are possible. Police do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the incident.
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