Provo cops nab hit-run suspect — thanks to license-bumper impression
Witness photo, too • Cell phone picture showed car make, model.
Published: October 25, 2012 01:27PM
Updated: October 25, 2012 11:10AM
A license plate impression on this vehicle's bumper, and a photo snapped by a witness of a hit-and-run suspect's car, led to an arrest in Provo. (Provo Police Department photo).

Provo police went to unusual lengths to bring a suspected hit-and-run driver to justice.

Police Chief Rick Gregory said it turned out to be a partial license plate impression on the victim’s car bumper, along with a cell phone photograph snapped by a witness, that led to the arrest of a 35-year-old Provo woman.

The crash occurred Tuesday at 300 S. State Street when a silver Dodge PT Cruiser rear-ended a brown Honda Civic stopped at a traffic light. The driver of the Honda was taken to the hospital after complaining about head, neck, and ankle pains.

Just prior to the crash, a witness was cut off by the suspect vehicle and then saw it collide with the victim’s car. The suspect vehicle drove away, but the witness quickly pulled out her phone and took the picture.

Gregory said that while the photo gave investigating officers the make and model of the suspect’s car, it did not show the license plate.

However, Gregory said when officers examined the damage to the victim’s Honda, “They realized the bumper captured a faint impression of part of the suspect’s license plate number — enough for them to trace the vehicle to a nearby address.

“Officers found [the] suspect vehicle with parts of the Honda’s taillight lodged in the grill and a matching license plate,” Gregory said, and the driver was arrested soon thereafter. Late Tuesday, she was booked into Utah County Jail on suspicion of leaving the scene of an injury accident, driving without proof of insurance,and making an unsafe lane change.