What do you do when your vehicle is hit, but the driver doesn’t stick around?
Put it out there on Neighbourly – and let social media do the tracking.
Mechanic Jiten Pratap did just that, and within an hour had a lead from a neighbour, who had seen a car matching the description of the drive-away at a local panel beaters.
Pratap first found out his ute had been hit on Coutts St when a neighbour called last Wednesday, and told him the culprit was driving a pink Honda Jazz.
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The neighbours saw the driver of the Jazz flee the scene but did not catch its number plate.
The ute rolled forward and smashed into the back of a parked blue Mazda hatchback.
Pratap’s day went from bad to worse as he was inspecting the damage, when the owner of the Mazda came out from her house and accused him of hitting her car.
“She was going ‘you hit my car!’ She wouldn’t even listen to me,” Pratap said.
Police said because there was no information to identify the offending driver, both owners should contact their insurance companies.
Pratap decided to take the matter into his own hands, and posted a short notice on social media site Neighbourly the next morning.
“Within a one-hour span of posting onto Neighbourly, I had a call from one of the neighbours who saw the post. They said there was a pink car at the panel beaters which had been damaged at the front.”
The owner was Ken Ricketts.
“Ken came to see me on Friday and said ‘I’m very embarrassed to see you. What can I do to withdraw my case from the police?’”
On Monday, they met to discuss repayments. Ricketts told Pratap his third-party insurance would cover the damages to Pratap’s ute and the other neighbour’s car. He could not claim insurance for his own car.
Ricketts said it was the first accident he been involved in, and it happened because he had to swerve to avoid an oncoming car.
He said he apologised to Pratap for not staying at the scene.
“I went into a state of shock.”