Columbia Police Use Multiple Tools to Solve Hit-and-Runs

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The sound of an ambulance can be a welcome one for someone injured in a car accident, but it is also a sound that could be delayed or come too late after a hit-and-run.

"Sometimes when we talk with people about leaving the scene of an accident some of them are scared. Some of them have other traffic violations such as suspended drivers licenses and sometimes we come across cases where they're under the influence," said Sgt. Derek Miller with the Columbia Police Department.

Miller heads up the traffic unit with the Columbia Police Department. They are looking into who may have been behind the wheel in two hit-and-runs from over the weekend.

Officers are looking for a four-door, gray or silver older model vehicle, in the first incident that happened around 10 p.m. Friday along the 4000 block of Monticello Road. They say it could be a Toyota Camry with damage the front driver's side.

They are also searching for a dark colored, possibly green, convertible from an accident that happened at the intersection of Gervais and Harden Streets around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. The vehicle should have heavy damage to the front end and wind shield.

Officers say both victims were injured and taken to the hospital.

"Any kind of vehicle part, whether it be a paint chip, a headlight, anything that comes off a vehicle that we maybe be able to figure out what type of car it was," said Miller. He says car parts left at the scene are extremely useful to their investigations.

Knowing what type of car police are searching for and where the damage is helps the community play a big role in cracking the cases.

Miller says surveillance cameras and even cell phone video can lead to arrests, but they also get help from businesses that frequently come into contact with cars.

"Auto part stores and things like that. We've often received calls from those places saying I just want to let you know I had somebody come in that needed a windshield repaired and something didn't seem right and they'll pass that information along and we'll investigate it," said Miller.

Still, beyond the threat of being caught, Miller says stopping after an accident is just the right things to do.

"The main thing is we don't wanna have people seriously injured or die from these collisions and if they don't receive medical attention in a timely manner, their injuries can become a lot worse and they can pass away from the injuries," he said.

If you have any information that could help investigators you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.


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