Victim uses smartphone app to record hit-and-run

8:36 PM, Feb 12, 2011   |    comments
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Nic Bender said some people wondered why he would download an app that would record his driving.

"I figured that some day if there was an accident, it would prove my side of it," Bender said.

That wound up happening Thursday morning when his car was clipped while driving on Morrell Road.  He just dropped off his son at daycare when a vehicle hit Bender's front passenger side. The driver ran off leaving a broken headlight and scratches to Bender's sedan. However, Bender caught the accident on tape through a smartphone application called Daily Road Voyager.

"I try and make it a habit of using it every time I'm in the car... for safety reasons, starting it when I get into the car," he added.

He mounts the phone on his car windshield, so his hands are still on the steering wheel.

Knoxville Police said the case is legitimate and video is a valid piece of evidence in the investigation.

"Technology is changing, so we do expect to see more of this in the future," said Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk. "It is getting to the point where you cannot go out into public without the possibility of being recorded by someone."

While Bender did not catch who was the driver that hit him, the video proved that bad driving is noticed.

"I think it'll make people think twice their actions on the road," he added.

DeBusk added the case will not prosecute alone, but will help in these type of cases.

Previous Story: Cell phone app catches hit-and-run as it happens

Knoxville police have a jump start on their investigation into a hit-and-run crash and it's all thanks to in-car video recorded by a cell phone.

Channel 10 viewer Nic Bender downloaded an app to his phone that records video whenever he drives - he just sets his phone on his dashboard. On Thursday, the phone captured video showing a white sedan swooping into Bender's lane. The sedan clipped Bender's front bumper, knocked out a headlight and kept going.

Shortly after the crash, Bender took the video to the Knoxville Police Department.  Investigators now hope to use it to track down the person responsible for the hit-and-run. "Through the years, we've had incidents where we've received video that was used to capture a crime, but most of the time it's been home surveillance," explained KPD Spokesperson Darrell DeBusk.  "Obviously, technology is changing so we do expect to see more of this in the future."

Regardless, DeBusk said just because police have the video, doesn't mean they'll be able to charge someone.  He said investigators still have to detemine who the car belonged to and who was driving.

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