Reddit Users Help Police Solve Fatal Hit-And-Run

posted by RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter - 

Amatuer detectives from a popular online forum have come to the rescue and helped police identify a car part that's led to an arrest in a fatal hit-and-run incident earlier this month in Washington State.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Johnna Batiste tweeted an image of the car part clue left behind after a black vehicle believed to be involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident on Aug 9. Batiste's photo was posted to Reddit's /r/WhatisThisThing subreddit, where users try to identify strange or confusing looking items. 

One user on the subreddit, "JeffsNuts," quickly identified the piece of metal as belonging to a headlamp bezel from a 1988 Chevy Silverado. 

As it turned out, the reddit user was spot on in his identification and it led police to an arrest in the case. Batiste posted an update to Twitter praising the subreddit for passing on vital information. 

“WSP detectives made an arrest today for Thursday’s fatal bicyclist hit and run in Eatonville. Reddit users identify a photographed broken car part as a mid-1980s Chevy truck headlight assembly. Local anonymous tip confirms and led to the arrest of a driver of an 1986 Chevy K-10,” she wrote.

When asked how he knew what the part was, "JeffsNuts" wrote that his experience as a Maryland state inspector helped him figure out the part. 

Anyhow, I've done a sh**-ton of headlamp adjustments, so right away I knew what that notch in the plastic was for....I first checked 1988 Ram 1500 trucks and by chance, there was a picture of a mid 80's Chevy truck.....quick google part search and copy and paste and now from the comment section I need to learn about urls and queerys and cache or something.

This isn't the first time Reddit forums have been helpful - in 2015, one Reddit user alerted another to the potential presence of carbon monoxide in his home after he found strange post-it notes scattered around his home. 

Photo: Washington State Troopers

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