Tesla Hit & Run - SOLVED!!! (long)

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by FastEddieB, Mar 29, 2022.

  1. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In case you missed it, buried in another Tesla thread was a hit and run on our 6-week-old Model 3.

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/tesla-model-3-finally.134268/page-14#post-3230784

    Here's a summary of how we caught the guy.

    The Tesla has an array of cameras front, rear, and 2 on each side, constantly recording. Our car had just stopped at a red light which had just turned red when a car turning swung wide and sideswiped us and fled:



    We pulled the USB stick and downloaded the videos from the car's cameras and with the separate dashcam we use. Even going frame-by-frame it was just not possible to make out the tag number. One example here:

    [​IMG]

    I emailed the files to my son-in-law and he used some frame-by-frame video processing software to come up with a full Tennessee tag # which checked back to a 2010 Nissan Altima, pretty consistent with the fleeing car.

    I gave that info to the deputy who handled the accident and our insurance company. The officer said the tag checked back to an address in the City of Knoxville, and his supervisor wouldn't let him go that far out of his zone, and that we'd need to get a city officer to follow up. I called and they said they didn't have the manpower to handle accidents occurring outside their city, but that a county officer surely had the jurisdiction to do so. I contacted the Deputy and he said he'd go by and attempt to make contact with the owner of the vehicle.

    While all that was transpiring, our insurance company was tracking down the tag info themselves and found the vehicle had just been insured by another company the morning of the accident. Yesterday that insurance sent me an online claim form that had the name of their insured. Karen and I searched Facebook for the name and came up with someone of that name who had posted this:

    [​IMG]

    Gotcha!

    Late yesterday the deputy informed me he had made contact with the owner, who confessed to leaving the scene of the accident and got a citation for the same.

    Kind of amazing how it all worked out. Big thanks to my son-in-law - without his help it would have likely been a dead end. The other driver's company has an internal investigation going on regarding the coincidence of insurance purchased that very day and the nature of the hit-and-run. That may delay getting our car fixed for a bit, but its functionally fine so not that big a deal. Will follow up as things proceed.
     
  2. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Damn Columbo, that was some good sleuthing.
    :cheers:
     
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  3. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nice work, there are so many losers out there.
     
  4. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Love it when a plan comes together.!!

    Reckon the other drivers insurance company will push being past the stop line.?? I am guessing the leaving the scene part my increase his premiums a lot, if not outright cancellation of policy.

    And what a dofus for putting it on ''social media''...
     
  5. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That guy is in serious doo-doo. What possesses people to post something like that? Dumber than dumb.
     
  6. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe. I didn't really notice it until looking at the photos and videos. And an intersection is normally defined as the area within the lateral lines formed by the intersecting roads, and I was in fact clear of the intersection. In retrospect, I could have "run" the yellow and been OK - it was conservatively stopping in a marginal situation that put me where I was. And if you think about it, same set of circumstances with me short of the stop line and the Nissan would have struck me nearly head on, causing a LOT more damage, and maybe injury, so there's that. In the end I think it's clear that where my vehicle was stopped was not a contributing factor in the accident. His car swinging wide crossing into my lane was.
     
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  7. JOhnH

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    Also give credit to the TESLA for recording the event. Of course though, the Tesla haters will say that an ICE car could do that too. Probably, but then, why don't they?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
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  8. Mason

    Mason En-Route

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    "Dumber than a box-o-rocks" comes to mind.
     
  9. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Can't wait for the story to air on Dateline.
     
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  10. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Love it when the good guy wins.
     
  11. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    The Kenwood head-unit in my Excursion will do it if I wanted it to. Has inputs for 4 cameras, and I currently have two (front/rear). I could add side view cameras or dash cam and have it record to flash memory. It's not difficult to do if someone wants to do it. As it is, I'd only have video of my wife backing into her coworker's car, lol.
     
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  12. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Glad it worked out, Eddie, and I hope you're able to have your Tesla repaired soon.

    Pretty good odds that the guy was under the influence, but of course by the time they got to him it was too late for any proof. Did you look up his name on the FAA website to see if he's a pilot? :)
     
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  13. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Nice that you were able to track the guy down. I would have expected more of your red paint on his car, though.
     
  14. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Maybe. A driver crossed a ~20' grass median colliding with my wife almost head on totaling her minivan. The guy drove away despite two blown tires, shattered windows and a mortally wounded car. He drove a mile or so down the road then turned into a neighborhood parking as far in the back as he could with the damaged side of his car facing woods. I guess he hoped to have the car towed before it could be found and connected to the accident. He was caught b/c a resident reported the car as it was pretty obvious what was going down. The police asked if we wanted to press charges. Maybe b/c my wife and young children were in the car, I said hell yes. About 6 months later we received a note charges were dropped b/c the county had more important matters to pursue.
     
  15. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Man, that’s wrong. Sorry to hear that. That just provides incentive to run. There’s no downside. Makes me mad.
     
  16. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I guess the police really are being defunded. And some people (criminals) are ok with that.
     
  17. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What’s really sad is I’m sure they’d prosecute him if he hadn’t run. Assuming it was dui
     
  18. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Around my part of the woods you d that and you will be rear ended by at least 1 car, maybe 7.

    Yep, you were well on your side of the center line, so you got that going for ya. Plus you were sitting still.
     
  19. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    We have added dash cams to both my and my wife's vehicles. We have had too many close calls with idiot drivers. If there is an accident, its your word versus theirs. In the year or two since we've had them, they sure have caught some interesting events.
     
  20. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    Had a similar sleuthing project years ago. Except my car was in a parked in a spot and was sideswiped by someone who couldn't back out without making contact and they left without a note.

    ID'd the vehicle after much work*, deputy made contact, and it turned out to be the wife of an auto insurance agent. Deputy said she burst into tears and confessed after his door knock.

    Police didn't pursue further, as she "was contrite and learned her lesson". o_O

    At least her husband paid the claim.



    * (Was a large paid lot that required a window sticker. Knowing they would be back again, I measured bumper heights on every dang car daily to find my crease height. Eventually found it on the far side, still with my red paint smear. I had the matching silver transfer on my car.)
     
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  21. GaryM

    GaryM Pattern Altitude

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    Years back, my car was hit by a commercial truck backing out of a municipal parking lot. Hard enough to move the rear of my car about 4'. Truck fled. A witness left a note on my windshield with a partial description of the truck, but they weren't close enough to read the writing or get a tag number. I staked out that parking lot at the same time of day, off and on for two weeks. In my case, there wasn't a happy ending. I never found the truck.
     
  22. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Exactly. And if the driver is under the influence, there's a big upside to running, since by the time he's caught DUI can't be proven. A DUI bust can have all sorts of impacts on employment, child custody, security clearance, etc., but a simple hit-&-run not so much.
     
  23. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That would seriously **** me off.

    I would be asking for a list of crimes that were also unimportant, like maybe assault and battery.
     
  24. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Two years later, same road, 2 miles closer to home, 5:15am, my son was hit head on by a driver going the wrong way down the divided highway. Closure speed at contact was ~100 mph. Paramedics said my son is lucky to be alive. Neither my son or the other driver have any recollection of the accident -- the power of the mind to protect itself from trauma. The other driver doesn't live anywhere around here and apparently has no idea why he was in this section of town at that time of day. I never heard if either accident was alcohol related. In both cases, I assume for privacy reasons, I could only get the name and age of the other driver.
     
  25. genna

    genna Pattern Altitude

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    Many do. I prefer my car not to record anything that may incriminate me. I have a dashcam separate from my car. Doesn't require a $$$$$$ Tesla
     
  26. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    yeah, but does it come with a ballistic parachute?
     
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  27. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    nice detective work...
     
  28. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congrats on a positive outcome.

    Which Dash cam do you have to supplement the Tesla cams?
     
  29. Flocker

    Flocker Line Up and Wait

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    Great ending to this story Eddie! Curious, what software did he use?
     
  30. FastEddieB

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  31. FastEddieB

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    Yes, it is. I’ll ask him about the software and get back to you.
     
  32. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    Congrats! Great job on getting that tracked down.
     
  33. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    “We used the vlc player. It’s an app that’s usually used to watch video. It has a feature where you can take slow down the frame rate and then take snap shots of each one. When you screen shot the video you can then edit them in different filters. Some of the filter looked blank when we tried to save them. So we used an open source app named greenshot to snip each picture and save them.”
     
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  34. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FANTASTIC! Love the sleuthing and legwork! Love seeing people being forced to come clean! If he learns a lesson, 100x better!!
     
  35. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's just too bad the cops weren't willing to do the sleuthing!
     
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  36. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Quick update…

    First, the fellow’s insurance said they would send us a check for $2,200, which was the amount of their initial estimate. When we said that wouldn’t be nearly enough, they said that was an initial payment to get the ball rolling, and once we had a formal estimate they would pay any difference to the body shop. Sure enough, our body shop estimate was over $6,500 higher, and the insurance company paid that immediately. Still waiting on parts and scheduling, not a big deal since the car’s fully drivable as is.

    Secondly, the Knox County State Attorney called to confirm our address. They said a court date for the hit and run charge is scheduled for next month and we’d be getting subpoenas in the mail.

    Finally, we’re looking into making a “diminished value” claim. Apparently there’s a formula to reflect how much less the car is worth due to damage history. I’ll let you know how that pans out.
     
  37. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Wow, that's quite progressive. Here in aviation the culprit's insurance gave the mechanic a check to eat in whole, for me a pat in the @ss and and a good luck after the FBO mortared my wing and aileron with a Snap-on bomb dive-toss. No diminished value redress to be found within 100 miles of a T-hangar. Maybe one day

    *scurries to the aviation wishing well, looks down at the owner-mx category and MOSAIC quarters from 2015*
    :D
     
  38. schmookeeg

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    I hate to say it, but having been at the table for a number of these, this is where an attorney can earn their keep AND get paid by the insurance company. You'd be amazed how good they are at finding all manner of pocket lint and liability that can only be sorted by a stack of dead presidents.
     
  39. NoHeat

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    Eddie, I’m glad things are coming along for you.

    I think it’s interesting that for your YouTube video of the event, all the comments were requests to use your video on other channels. Maybe that means that sideswipe crashes like this are seldom captured the way you did with the Tesla cameras?
     
  40. FastEddieB

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    I assume those channels just search for clips like that to aggregate and then monetize from their compilations. I granted permission across the board - I can’t see any harm from doing so.

    My favorite is Wham Bam Teslacam, recommended by a forum member in the other Tesla thread.