Safe Driving Program Could Help Catch Suspect

SPOKANE — A hit-and-run driver might have gotten away, but a camera mounted inside the victim’s car caught it all on tape.

The crash happened at W. Maxwell Avenue and N. Monroe Street around 5:00pm Monday night, and it was recorded by a video system that helps teens learn to drive safer.

Lisa Ragar, 17, was driving home along westbound Maxwell Ave. when a driver turned in front of her.

She hit the back of a red Ford Explorer, but the driver of the explorer never stopped. However, a video was taken of the incident, which should help catch him.

“I tried to swerve, I tried to stop but I couldn’t do it in time.” Ragar said. “He took a left, and I kinda hit him like that, so I got him at the end of his turn.”

Ragar’s car was damaged, but the hit-and-run driver was spotted on camera because one had been installed on her rear view mirror.

“I told them I had a cam, and the cop was surprised and more relieved than I was. It was pretty funny,” Ragar said.

Police are waiting for the video to come from the company that operates the camera system. It will take a couple days to process. 

It’s called the Teen Safe Driver Program and was installed for free by American Family Insurance.  The camera records video and audio from inside and outside of the car.

“Personally I wouldn’t put a teen driver in a car without it. I mean, this is an awesome program,” Ragar’s step-father Brent Hoke said.

Hoke gets a weekly report card from program with video of any incidents of sudden braking, swerving or acceleration.

Up until the crash, Ragar did not like having the camera, but now she does.

“I was pretty upset,” Ragar said. “I got caught taking some corners too fast, but now it’s in there I’m so happy I had it.”

Police are waiting to see the video so they can gather more clues as to who the hit-and-run suspect is.