Will White’s truck has been hit twice while parked in a CSU
parking lot, resulting in a total of nearly $3,200 in damage.
In October, White, a sophomore agricultural business major,
found a note on his windshield informing him that a woman had hit
his 2001 GMC pickup and dented the door of his extended cab.
Because the woman left her contact information, neither White nor
his insurance company had to pay for any repairs.
The accident one year earlier was a different story.
In October 2002, White’s truck was hit in the Braiden Hall
“Someone was backing up and [hit] the back portion of the bed,”
White said. “They didn’t leave a name or number or anything.”
White filed a police report, and his own insurance company
covered the $1,400 in repairs. White said that because it was a
hit-and-run accident, he did not have to pay a deductible.
Hit-and-run accidents are a fairly common occurrence on campus
and the consequences are significant, said Capt. Bob Chaffee of the
CSU Police Department. “Anytime you cause damage or injuries (with
a vehicle) you must leave a note.”
If a person does damage to a car and does not leave his or her
contact information, that person faces a 12-point ticket against
his/her driver’s license, fees and the cost of court appearances,
depending on the court and severity of the accident.
Chaffee said that approximately 20 percent of hit-and-run cases
are solved when a third party witnesses the accident and reports
the license plate and description of the car to the police or to
the owner of the damaged car.
“A lot of cases we solve are due to Good Samaritans … because
somebody happened to be in the right place at the right time,”
He also encourages people who do witness a hit-and-run accident
to report it.
“If you see an accident, call us, because they need to take
responsibility,” Chaffee said. “To bang something like (a car), you
hear it and feel it …it’s not something that happens outside of
Chaffee said that accidents occur two to three times a week in
both student and faculty parking lots across campus.
“Often people have got too much on their mind, or they’re not
paying attention,” he said.
In late October, Nate Beckman, a sophomore open option student,
was parked at First Bank, 2315 S. College Ave., when someone backed
into his driver’s side door. When Beckman returned to his 1986
Honda Prelude, he could only open the door far enough to squeeze in
and drive home. The other driver did not leave a note.
Beckman said he did not report the accident to the police
because he plans on repairing the car himself. However, he would
have appreciated a note.
“I probably would have called them and said thank you (for
leaving a note),” Beckman said. “I wouldn’t have made anyone pay
for it, but it would have made me feel better.”
Chaffee said that if someone is going to report an accident, it
should be done immediately. If one waits, then it is harder to make
a case, and the victim could actually end up being cited for
failure to report an accident, he said.
Nick Zenzen, owner of Fort Collins Collision Repair, 209 W.
Troutman Pkwy, said approximately one of five cars that the
business repairs are damaged while in a parking lot.
“The damage can be anything from a door ding to a scrape going
down the whole side of the vehicle,” Zenzen said. “The most common
is usually damage to a bumper.”
Zenzen said the average cost of repairs is between $400 and
“Sometimes the store (where the car was parked) pays, sometimes
people leave a note on the windshield, sometimes people hit and run
… about half the time insurance will pay for it,” he said.
Beckman, however, is not concerned about any potential repair
costs. Rather he is frustrated by the fact that whoever hit him did
not claim responsibility.
“It irritates me a lot,” he said. “I’ll always leave a
Hit and Run
In Colorado, whenever any damage is done to a person or
property, drivers are required by law to stop and contact
(Colorado Judicial Branch)