Car involved in fatal hit-run possibly found in Common garage

Suspect car in garage

Suspect car on the right. Photo by Meredith Spencer.

WCVB reports Boston Police are looking at a silver car found in the Boston Common garage this morning as the one whose driver hit and killed bicyclist Rick Archer early Sunday in the Back Bay.

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Hopefully true

Now to find the asshole responsible.

(with that sort of windshield damage, you don't get a "oh but I had no idea I killed someone - oops, my bad!" defense. You shouldn't anyway, but ...)

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Lost and Found

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Maybe the owner will claim the car was "Stolen" or "Borrowed"?

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And scratch off all the VINs

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And scratch off all the VINs and, possibly, all the fingerprints?

The further one takes it, the harder it becomes to NOT make a mistake against an army of cops.

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And the VIN? It's just a race

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And the VIN? It's just a race against time at this point, and the best the alleged perpetrator can do at this point is find a lawyer and turn themselves in.

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who was driving

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With the plates and VIN finding the owner should not be too hard. Proving operation could be. Frequently these cars are reported "stolen" shortly after the accident, or the next morning.

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hopefully the cameras in that

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hopefully the cameras in that garage are good enough for a positive id of the driver exiting the garage

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That is what I thought when a

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That is what I thought when a driver was drag racing down Beacon Street last year and sped onto the sidewalk, hitting a pedestrian and leaving their Bentley there. They still couldn't find the driver even though they had the car.

This is why we need to legalize cameras at intersections. It will save peoples lives and help catch the drivers who are out there breaking laws and killing people. They are the greatest danger to the people of Boston and we have the technology to catch them.

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Is this really true?

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I remember that Bentley crash. Is it really true that they never found who the driver was?

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They probably know who the driver was

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There's some very odd stuff with that incident. Apparently it wasn't the owner of the car driving it - who obviously knows who was driving his/her car - but s/he won't say. I think the police may even know who the driver was - but the owner won't testify so there's no way to prove it. Bottom line - somebody connected, somebody with money (obvious given the vehicles) or likely both.

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Diplomatic Immunity

In some cases that "immunity" is being stretched to cover anything showing up in the press, too.

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Diplomatic immunity

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...isn't usually the get out of jail card as depicted on TV shows. In serious cases, the State Department or the foreign counterpart employing the diplomat will typically revoke the credentials of the offender and either expel them from the country or refer them for prosecution.

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It's not that typical

"the Georgia government took the unexpected step of waiving his diplomatic immunity"

The only reason the Georgian government allowed him to be charged is because there was such a huge public outcry over the accident.

Short version: Georgia's #2 diplomat gets crocked and driving about 90 mph on a city street plows into a bunch of cars killing one and injuring four. He's tried and sentenced to 7-21 years, then is transferred to a Georgian prison where he gets out in 3.

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bentley driver

so how does this work? cant compel testimony somehow? or even if they did it becomes the state trying to prove that when the owner says "i dont know who it was" that he actually did know, or what?

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Dunno

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But I'm guessing this goes way up the chain and whatever it is, it's legit. If Commissioner Evans knows the details, and I'm guessing he does, he gets my benefit of the doubt.

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I wonder if the Common Garage has cameras

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I would bet that it does. In that case, BPD better be making sure right now that those tapes are archived so they can pore through the video of whoever left the garage probably early on Sunday morning.

Imagine that person's duplicity. They knew they'd just (quite possibly, although I know people who have bounced off windshields like that and been okay) killed someone, and that they couldn't drive the car any significant distance (because they couldn't see out the front windshield and it might raise some suspicion) so they went and stuffed it in a garage and fled.

Run and hide, motherfucker, run and hide. If they find the car's owner, they better have a damn good alibi. And if they "lent it to a friend and they don't know who" they should be compelled to testify in court who that person is. "I don't remember" is bullshit. If you lend your car to someone, and they go on a killing spree, you better be ready to turn them in.

Most crashes are not accidents: in most cases the person driving the large hunk of steel is at fault. If you're a driver and not at fault (*), the best thing you can do is stay at the site, call for help, and aid the victim in any way possible. Given how the police and courts deal with motorists who kill and maim cyclist and pedestrians, you'd probably receive, at most, a moderate slap on the wrist. Of course, if you've been drinking, they may deal with you differently. But if you've been drinking, you shouldn't be in a car, you miserable piece of scum.

* And yes, this happens. It shouldn't, but there are cyclists out there who do stupid things, and I'm saying this as a cyclist who from time to time does stupid things (although with less frequency than I used to). A few months ago, driving east on Western Ave in Brighton, a cyclist ran a red on Everett at speed, leaning in to the turn to make the right on to Western. Had I not noticed him out of the corner of my eye and slammed on the brakes, it would have not been pretty. But I wouldn't have fled the scene, and I would probably be in a lot of therapy. It still gives me the shakes to think about how close that was to a disaster. We have a lot of privilege to drive these huge machines at high rates of speed. We need to take a lot of responsibility.

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They do

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From multiple angles. All the tape, and any info on time the car entered the garage etc. was turned over to BPD.

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The point he was making is

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The point he was making is that acts of negligence or recklessness shouldn't be considered mere "accidents." The definition of accident may encompass negligence and even recklessness, but the common connotation of "accident" to many people is that something bad happened and it was no one's fault.

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This is a relatively new thing in the bike zealot world...

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classifying crashes, such as these, as not "accidents". To me, it is just a semantic game.

Of course they are accidents as the person driving did not wake up that morning and say "Hey, I am going to hit and kill a cyclist today!!!".

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My father is a long-retired police officer...

... and he disliked the use of "accident" for collisions due to negligence and recklessness many decades ago (and he was hardly alone in this attitude). So, no, the objection to using "accident" as a synonym for any and all non-deliberate collisions is not new.

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Not new at all

My father, who did collision investigations in the 1980s for the Oregon DOT and served as an expert witness after he formally retired also disliked the term "accident". "These are not acts of God" he would say. He vastly preferred "collision" (unless there was something like a sudden landslide involved - which is rare, but something he would have to investigate to determine if road construction or design contributed).

So, very much agreed that "collision" or "crash" instead of "accident" isn't a cyclist thing or a new thing. If anything, it is an accident investigation or an expert witness thing.

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It's not just the bike zealot

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It's not just the bike zealot world. It's also the traffic engineer zealots.

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You've made some good points, Ari, but

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since a bicycle is also a vehicle, cyclists are also subject to the rules of the road just as much as cars are. Therefore, cyclists, too, are obligated to fulfill their responsibilities and not run red lights and/or STOP signs, go the wrong way down one-way streets, weave in and out of traffic, or to ride on the wrong side of two-way streets.

None of this excuses the horrific death of Rick Archer or the fact that the guy that hit and killed him left the scene of the crash, but, as I've also observed for myself, a lot of cyclists don't live up to their responsibilities and their obligations to obey the rules of the road, as they should.

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We will do all those things

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When we stop doing them in our cars.

You see, its the same massholes doing the same things - and jaywalking while screaming "red light" at cyclists proceeding on green lights.

The problem is much bigger than cyclists doing this or that. Also, the real damage is done by motorists running over people when they are massholes, not cyclists "almost hitting me".

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As far as I know there's no

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As far as I know there's no law against cameras at intersections. They're used for traffic control all over the city.

But how would cameras "save peoples lives"? If cameras help the city keep traffic flowing more efficiently, great. But if the only reason to install cameras is catching a hit-and-run driver, then I'd opt for less big-brother.

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Cameras

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There are different types of cameras in different locations. Some are police cameras which they will be able to retrieve footage from. Some are Traffic cameras which may not record as they are there for the ability to judge traffic flow and the DOT doesn't want them recording. There are also private cameras along the route and in garages. Those may or may not record and may be stored for different amounts of time.
As for a rental car, it will be difficult to put anyone behind the wheel of this car. My guess is the owner will lawyer up and if he/she does not say anything, charges will be hard to prove without video surveillance of them entering or exiting the garage, or a passenger giving them up.

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they're already legal

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Just not for automated red light enforcement.

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Yes, but ...

That won't close the case or end the hunt ... as in subpoena of cell phone records, etc.

Won't there also be video of the driver of the car as they entered the garage, with a timestamp for when they arrived?

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Yes their should be video...

I'm not familiar with this case, but usually in cases like this the BPD will go to the closest garages the next day and just review all the tapes. Not sure if that's how this one was found but it is probable.

Whether or not you will get the actual person on camera is another story. If they were drunk, they will probably not be careful enough to avoid the cameras on the way out (that might show peoples faces).

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Maybe the driver walked

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Maybe the driver walked calmly out of the garage with his jacket over his head to hide his identity, if he realized he hit someone with his car why didn't he go back to the scene of the accident, maybe he crawled out of a kenmore sq /Fenway bar and decided to drive home drunk up beacon st or comm ave . He probably resides somewhere around the common possibly beacon hill, another possibility he knew he was in trouble at that point and decided to ditch the car at the garage and he probably hailed a taxi or had one of his buddy's pick him up at the wee morning hours to drive him home to the suburbs Or other parts of the city.
The only way to have the driver get away from this is to bury the car into the ground , other than that he's screwed.

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Maybe not useful

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I don't think they've shown the front of the car, but I imagine if the windshield was smashed up from impact that might obscure being able to get a clear picture of the driver on camera. (Unless there's also a camera angle from the side, to show him/her rolling down the window to take a ticket.) I'm sure they'll also dust for fingerprints, which might be able to narrow down the identity. They didn't think to take the plates off the car so they probably didn't wipe their prints.

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Of course

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I was referring to being able to positively identify the driver, not tie the car to the crime.

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He/she might. However, they

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He/she might. However, they know the truth and I would assume and hope it causes guilt and distress in the liar hit and runner.

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Fact

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The driver is innocent until proven guilty.

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Not fact

If you're going to be pedantic the person who was driving the car only has the presumption of innocence in court until proven beyond a reasonable doubt but that is different from being factually innocent.

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I think the other guys is right

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Pedantics or semantics, we're all innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. Opinions are a totally separate thing. Unless you were a witness to the party, your speculating on his guilt. But yeah, the driver is guilty in my eyes. You don't run if your innocent.

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All things being equal,

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All things being equal, assuming this driver has an alternative explanation for the smashed windshield - if it's not "It was intact when I left it", when does one simply leave their car in the garage with a smashed windshield and not call police/insurance to get it fixed?

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With NY plates

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Most likely a rental, which is extremely easy to trace. They'll have a name and maybe an arrest by the end of the day. Thankfully.

PS: does anyone know if there's a difference between vehicular homicide, and vehicular homicide while intoxicated? (not that it matters in the grand scheme of things) but I often wonder if a hit and run driver gets off slightly easier if there's no way to prove they were intoxicated at the time.

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There are plenty of students

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There are plenty of students from NY and NJ and other non-New England states who bring their cars here while attending university. Not saying it was an out of state student who killed the cyclist, just saying don't assume this car is a rental bc it has NY plates.
On a different note, ever notice when a cyclist or a pedestrian is struck and killed by a driver there is plenty of media attention initially, but then there is no followup? The pedestrians struck and killed on Beacon St. a few years ago... the driver and passenger lied about who was driving. What happened to them? Were they charged? The research doctor who was struck and killed at Mass. Ave. and Beacon... was the driver of the semi even charged?

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Bikers and the homeless: Forgotten the next day

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Yeah it's similar to the post Adam had a week or so back where many bodies (often of the homeless) are pulled from where they are found, with the story never to be brought up again. Same, to a lesser degree, among the people hit or killed on their bikes. After the funeral, you never hear if anyone is charged/tried/convicted etc.

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That's why I said most likely

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I've rented my fair share of cars and to see NY plates was not uncommon, even when renting from a Boston location.

And to your other point, the media is a what have you done for me lately business. I know of a couple of unsolved murder cases that the media doesn't talk about.

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Hit and run penalties

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Are the same as drunk driving penalties. They are both enumerated in the same chapter of state law (90 ยง24). Minimum 1 year in jail (minimum sentence 2.5 years, up to 10). Basically, they assume that you were drunk.

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There are differences....

And they don't assume anything. You need to prove you were drunk. But being reckless and leaving the scene adds to the penalty. Chapter 90 S.24 basically covers all reckless driving/injury offenses:

90. 24L: Drunk Driving AND operating to endanger causing serious injury: felony

90. 24G: Homicide by Motor Vehicle (being drunk AND reckless): felony

90. 24G: Homicide by Motor Vehicle (being drunk OR reckless): misdemeanor
This basically means if you are drunk driving but the other driver runs a red light, or if you are driving recklessly and you kill someone.

Now,

Leaving the scene adds things. If you leave the scene of a property damage accident or any injury it is a misdemeanor. If you leave the scene of an accident where someone dies, it is a felony.

So long story short, this person is facing a 1-10 year prison sentence (this carries a 1 year minimum)

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Thanks

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To both of you

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"most likely a rental"

Explain. There are a lot of cars in the area belonging to students, and a lot of travel back and forth between the cities, particularly on the weekends.

I'm just wondering how you came to that conclusion.

Amended: My experience is that rental car license plates vary a great deal along the East Coast because of all the tiny states. Last one I rented from of Enterprise to go to a work meeting had a Quebec plate! Over time, most of them have had PA or VA plates. They may base their fleets there for business reasons.

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Because I use to rent cars a lot

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And there were quite a few out of state plate cars. So that's why I said most likely. Also since this happened in Boston and not the surrounding town, I would say pay attention next time you see a car with out of state plates and see if the driver looks like a well-to-do college kid. Hate to bring this up but when Anthony Buchanan hit the lady on American Legion a few months back we saw the same thing, the rental car dumped somewhere out of sight.

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Barcodes

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If you watch the video on the WCVB page, you can see little bar code stickers on both of the rear windows. That + out of state plates is a pretty good giveaway that it's a rental car.

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I also rent them all the time

NY is a rare one, at least from Enterprise.

Barcodes are the trick, but some vendors hide them on the dash to avoid the "Florida rental problem" from years back.

Any state that takes barely more than an hour to drive through is going to have a lot of out-of-state plates running around.

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I don't think someone would

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I don't think someone would leave their personal vehicle in an open garage if they just hit someone. They were probably drunk, or maybe high, hit this poor soul and then panicked. Dumped the car in the first place they found and then took off.

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Actually, the Florida Rental Problem

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had to do with the fact that rental vehicles were assigned a specific number series for their plates, that immediately identified the car as a rental to anyone with half a brain.

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What it also had to do with

For a while before that, Florida plates that said "rental" right on them - in the 1980s that became too dangerous.

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Ooook

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Not sure the relevance there but after looking at the video and seeing the barcodes the other poster referenced, this is definitely a rental.

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That I will buy

Barcodes are the signal, plate from out of state - or even Canada (!) is the noise.

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Yea, fair point

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Ultimately I'm sure we all send our prayers out to Mr Archer's loved ones. No one deserves what happened to him regardless of where the cars from.

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Why have we not been updated

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Why have we not been updated on the driver/investigation of this rental car? I don't believe for a second there's no trace of the person who hit Rick, fled, and abandoned the car.

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