By Jennifer Kocher, Cowboy State Daily
The first rule of a successful hit-and-run accident? Don’t leave evidence behind at the scene of the hit that will help authorities find you after you run.
This hit-and-run driver left lots of evidence. A car full, to be exact.
A vehicle registration, an insurance card and a row of family photos lining the cloth interior above both the passenger and driver’s side doors were found in the SUV left in a canal Thursday morning after hitting a business in downtown Gillette.
The SUV was found rammed nose first into the drainage canal after smashing into the wall of the Enterprise rental car building in downtown Gillette around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
Building owner Jim Engel said he was feeling “bamboozled” when he showed up at around 7 a.m. Thursday and saw the structural damage one corner of the building and the abandoned vehicle in the ditch.
Surveillance footage from the four video cameras captured the 2009 grayish-blue Chrysler Aspen fly through the south end of the business’ parking lot at a rapid clip. Subsequent footage on an indoor camera showed a figure walking past the front window.
The Gillette Police Department is in the process of pulling other surveillance video from nearby businesses to piece together a clearer picture of the events that unfolded in the early morning.
Tow truck driver Josh Day of M.A.D. Towing made quick work of removing the vehicle from the canal.
“It was simple,” he said, pointing to the chunks of concrete that remained in the canal from the impact of the crash into the corner of the building.
The GPD officer on scene could not provide any details on the crash but confirmed police knew the identity of the vehicle’s owner and that it had not been reported stolen.