CHICO — A badly dented sport utility vehicle with a smashed windshield and clothing stuck in the grill has been ruled out as the suspect vehicle in an Oroville hit-and-run crash which badly injured two pedestrians.
The vehicle was reported abandoned in a parking lot at Enloe Medical Center on June 26. The mother of one of the collision victims, who spotted it while visiting her daughter at the hospital, thought it looked suspicious and notified Enloe security.
Chico police were then alerted, and an officer responded to the vehicle to keep watch over it until investigators from the California Highway Patrol office in Oroville arrived.
CHP Sgt. Steve Dubravetz said the vehicle appeared suspicious, and the damage looked like it could have come from hitting two pedestrians.
After a thorough investigation, Dubravetz said nothing was found to indicate the vehicle had hit anyone.
Although the windshield looked like a body had struck it, investigators said they found no hair or blood samples.
It had been in a crash, Dubravetz said, but a lot of the damage was caused by repeated vandalism.
He said the owner of the vehicle was trying to hide it from the vandals, and thought the lot across from Enloe emergency entrance would be a good spot.
He said the woman was asked by Enloe personnel to move the car, which she did, but left it in another area of the hospital lot.
Dubravetz said clothing from the victims, who were struck early on the morning of June 22 as they walked along the shoulder of Olive Highway, is believed to have lodged in vehicle parts, but it didn”t match the clothing stuffed into the car at Enloe, which he said was done to hold a fog light in place.
CHP investigators are hoping to identify the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run and have located some car parts near the area of impact.
The problem, he said, is that several accidents have occurred on that stretch of road, and its hard to now what parts go with what crash.
Dubravetz said one of the victims from the hit-and-run suffered major injuries and remains at Enloe.