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Hit-and-Run Debris May Help Police Solve Crime

December 21, 1997|TOM BECKER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

After spending the day piecing together evidence from a bizarre, double hit-and-run accident that took the life of a 16-year-old Taft High School student, police detectives said Saturday they believe the case is solvable.

Bobby Hobdy was hit Friday by a minivan on Century Boulevard while using a crosswalk to get to a bus stop for his daily trip to Taft High in Woodland Hills. He was struck again moments later by another car and died at the scene. Both vehicles left the accident without stopping, police said.

Although police said they do not have a description of the second vehicle, they think they have enough evidence to solve the case.

Police are looking at debris left at the scene of the accident by the two cars. Fragments of headlights and glass, as well as an analysis of Hobdy's injuries, can be used to decipher the year and make of the two vehicles, police said. Then they can search state databases of similar vehicles to find the owners.

"In a case like this, we use whatever we find at the scene, pieces of the car, tire marks," said Officer Jeffrey Buckwell of the Collision Investigation Unit at the South Traffic Division. Buckwell said pieces of vehicles have characteristics, such as paint color and even serial numbers.

Witnesses have not said much except that there were two cars, the first a light blue Plymouth minivan, probably a 1987 or 1989 model, with extensive damage to the front grille as a result of the accident. The driver of the van is described as a black man, 28 to 30 years old.

Buckwell said he hopes the drivers will turn themselves in.

"Hopefully, they'll go home, think about what they've done, see the pain they've caused and decide to do what's right," he said.

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