Did you hear about the hit-and-run in Lakewood, CO that was solved by a Tesla video? As a Lakewood car accident lawyer, I’ve been tracking the use of Tesla videos in car crash cases, which is a fascinating use of their security systems. First, let me tell you about the accident.
A young couple was dining with their infant child at the Olive Garden in Lakewood near Wadsworth Boulevard and Crestline Avenue. When they came out to the parking lot, they discovered that the front, driver side corner of the car was crushed, but no one had claimed responsibility for this crash in Lakewood. It was a hit and run.
Luckily, two good citizens had seen the accident occur and were waiting in the parking lot for the owner of the crushed vehicle. The two men explained that they had witnessed the accident and they had the license plate information from the truck that hit the car. Best news of all – these men owned a Tesla and were able to download the car’s surveillance video footage to help catch the hit-and-run driver.
When the young couple received the video, they watched as a truck, which was parked next to their car, pulled out and hit their vehicle so hard that it moved their car and spun its tires around. Then… the truck continues out of the lot.
Using the license plate information and the Tesla’s video, Lakewood police were able to track down the hit-and-run driver. She was charged with careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Imagine her surprise to discover just how busted she was!
Cracking this Lakewood car accident was possible thanks to two good Samaritans and their Tesla! How awesome that these two gentlemen witnessed the accident and simply decided to wait for the owner of the crushed vehicle. I personally wonder how long they had to wait. How many people would have paused their busy lives to simply sit tight and do the right thing?
Then, of course, they had a Tesla!
Teslas come outfitted with camera technology that enables them to capture footage of anyone vandalizing the car itself, but this surveillance ability has emerged as a powerful crime-stopping tool, as well.
In 2018, Tesla released its TeslaCam and Sentry Mode features. Since there are 8 cameras on each Tesla, this basically means there are millions of cameras on the roads and in parking lots serving as witnesses to shenanigans that otherwise would have gone undocumented. (For a taste of what these cars are documenting, click here.)
As someone who has seen just about everything when it comes to Colorado car crashes, I can tell you that it is fantastic to have surveillance video of any accident when I am working for a car accident victim. These days, everyone from motorcyclists to bicyclists to commercial truck drivers to personal auto owners are buying dash cams or helmet cams because we all seem to be worried about being victimized by bad drivers. Sadly, it is all too common.
But the good news is this: since it is common for people to have dash cams, victims of car accidents have a higher likelihood that their accident was captured on camera! I have written many articles about the things you should do after an accident to help prove your case against another driver. One of the most important things you can do is gather witnesses. Talk to the people who may have seen what happened and ask for their name and phone number. You should also ask if they have a dash cam. (Also remember that nearby businesses may have security cameras that could have captured the moment of the crime.)