Old Lady Does a Hit-and-Run…But we live to tell about it after we catch her!
Dr. Mark S. Latkovic
December 21, 2014
On the afternoon of December 26, 2011, at the intersection of Moore and Reeck in Allen Park, MI, a very old lady soundly hits the new car/Christmas present my youngest son Stephen and I are driving – the one my wife and I bought for the kids – taking off our rear bumper. We get out of the car. I have a very brief “conversation” with her. I tell her loudly that she has to wait until we get through the intersection before she can go through it. She tells me she has insurance (Now what does THAT have to do with not stopping at an intersection?). I go back to our car to get pen and paper to write down her information. And she gets back in her car and…TAKES OFF!
In the meantime, we have called both the police and my other son Joe to pick us up. After the lady cop comes and goes, the kids and I (along with Joe’s girlfriend and now fiancé Christina) search for her in the neighborhood, going through apartments and condos where we think an elderly person might be more likely to live (The policewoman had told us good luck with that!). But after 30 minutes of driving around, WE FIND HER CAR…up the street on Reeck, just a few blocks from the accident, with large garbage cans strategically placed on both sides around the remains of her car’s front bumper – which, by the way, is in the cop’s squad car – as it sits facing the garage in the driveway of her lovely home! My son immediately jumps out of our van and takes pictures of her license plate and the front of her car, with the trash cans included (pics posted on Facebook). The woman then comes out of her house yelling and, not recognizing my son, threatens to call the cops (Oh sweet irony!). My son says, “Go ahead and call them!”
We then call the cops ourselves. They come – first one and then another – and confront the woman as we wait in our van parked on the street in front of her neighbor’s house while making up all kinds of crazy stories about the little old lady really being a secret criminal (They ranged from drug trafficker to terrorist-harboring grandma). Before the cops had questioned her, she was hiding out front in her yard and then made a beeline for the house when she saw the cops pull in her driveway with their flashing red lights (She moved pretty fast for a seventy-something senior citizen!). The old lady then makes up some phony story about how she lost her bumper and denies everything to the cops…But then, THE MOMENT OF TRUTH: the cops take out her bumper from the squad car and, well, as you can imagine – BUSTED!
It turns out she had been driving on a suspended license and yet had gone out to “get a bite to eat.” And a hit-and-run! The same lady cop at the scene of the accident said we did great work tracking her down. I told her I felt like Barney Fife on a stakeout with Andy, Goober, and Gomer! When we got home later that evening, curious, I asked Stephen what kind of car she was driving. He said, “An older Chevy Malibu”… the same kind of car we were driving when she hit us!
P.S. As we were driving around looking for her car, Stephen sighed, “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.” When we finally spotted her car, I said, “Well, son, we’ve found our ‘needle’!”