UAPD advises on hit-and-runs

Ethan Summers

On the high traffic streets of Tuscaloosa, hit-and-runs are a problem many students have faced.

Kacy Davis, a junior majoring in restaurant and hospitality management, said she discovered her vehicle had been struck while she was dining at Ruan Thai, a restaurant located at the end of The Strip across from Surin.

“I got to Ruan Thai around 7:30 and walked outside to leave maybe an hour and a half later and I saw a huge dent in my back left bumper,” Davis said. “It just looked like someone else backing out of their space was in a huge hurry and miscalculated the amount of space they had.

“The dent was way too deep for the other car to have been going the average speed in a parking lot,” Davis said.

Davis said she reported the incident to the UAPD but was informed there wasn’t much they could do.

“About 45 minutes later, a policeman got there, looked at the car, took down my information and gave me a card to give to my insurance, I guess to say I wasn’t at fault,” Davis said. “He told me it wasn’t likely that anyone would come forward, but if they did I could choose to file a report.

“Of course no one did,” she said.

“The number of hit-and-run reports is about the same as it usually is at this time of the semester,” said Cathy Andreen, director of media relations while officially representing the UAPD.

The UAPD did offer advice for students facing a hit-and-run situation.

“There is not a lot you can do about this type of accident unless you park in a remote section of a lot or in between concrete columns in the decks,” said Assistant Chief Lee Harris. “A lot of these collisions occur because the driver immediately starts to text or do something else with their phone as soon as they start up the car.

“If you witness one car damage another and then drive off, try to get a photo of the departing car on your cell phone and if possible a tag number,” Harris said. “Then call UAPD immediately at 348-5454, report what you saw, give the last known direction of the suspect vehicle and then meet with an officer to give a written statement.”