Bend Police say they get roughly two reports of hit-and-runs in the city each day. One of those was caught on camera Tuesday.
Lexie Peterson said she was headed down Reed Market Road, on her way to the Old Mill District to take her dog for a walk. She said she noticed a white Jeep SUV driving erratically as she approached the roundabout at SE 15th Street.
“And then I stopped at the roundabout. There was a car in front of me, proceeded forward, stopped because there was a car coming and it was just felt like a full force, just like BOOM.”
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After sitting for a few seconds, stunned, Peterson continued through the roundabout. She said she expected the SUV to follow her to exchange information. But while she continued forward, the SUV driver took a right.
“I go into the Expressway parking lot and I see them whip into the Larkspur Community Center, driving completely erratically. And I’m still on the phone with my husband. And I said ‘Trav, I’m pretty sure they just ran away,’” Peterson said.
The incident was caught on the Expressway convenience store security camera, which has the roundabout in its view. You can see Peterson’s car lurch forward after the collision. After she went through, you can see the SUV move forward then quickly stop to avoid another collision before continuing to the right.
Due to previous back issues, Peterson said she went to urgent care as a precaution. She said she is OK.
Later that night, Peterson said she and her husband were leaving the food carts near Costco and that’s when they spotted the same SUV — complete with front-end damage. That allowed them the chance to get more details, including the license plate, to add to the police report they had already started. They also posted the video and photos on the social media app Nextdoor.
“I mean, it was it was just insane how the universe planted that in front of us. And was like, ‘Here. There you go!” said Peterson.
Peterson claims they saw the driver traveling at high speed through residential areas and running stop signs.
While Peterson indicated that she initially thought the driver may have been confused by the roundabout, she also said Bend Police told her the vehicle has been involved in other erratic driving reports in the past.
Police tell us there have been 207 hit-and-run reports in the city in 2023, following about 700 in 2022. They want to remind drivers that not stopping to exchange information is a crime.
As of Thursday night, there was no word from police whether the driver had been found.