Analyst: Photo of damaged SUV is crucial in fatal hit-and-run case

Posted at 12:24 AM, Sep 08, 2012
and last updated 2013-02-11 11:14:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - CBS 6 News has obtained new evidence that could shed light on a fatal hit-and-run accident. It’s a photo of a Dodge Durango belonging to 30 year-old Elias Webb, charged with felony hit and run.

Police say on the night of July 29, Lanie Kruszweski was killed riding her bicycle and that Webb hit her with his SUV and left the scene.

The photo shows the Dodge Durango’s front windshield crushed and dented with a hole in the driver’s side.

Webb told police he thought he had hit a deer and that’s why he never stopped.

CBS 6 News' Angela Pellerano showed the photo to CBS 6 legal analyst, Todd Stone. He said, although not an expert, it appeared that after Webb hit Kruszweski, her bike went underneath the SUV, and she landed on his windshield possibly travelling some distance while she was on the windshield.

Additionally, Stone says the SUV is key evidence for the prosecution.

“The prosecutor is going to be arguing well  if there’s this big dent in the middle of the window, right within your view, you [Webb] must have known that it wasn`t a deer…," said Stone. "They’re going to test if there’s  blood in the window because that would indicate the body made contact with the window. They`re going to look at parts of glass that may be imbedded in the victim.”

Stone also says the defense would perhaps argue that it was dark outside, and someone’s high beams were in [Webb’s] eyes.

“The defense is going to make something of this, a big crash in the window, saying a deer might have done the same thing,” he said.

Because the case got so much media attention, Webb’s attorney, Craig Cooley, says they’ll ask for a change of venue. But Stone believes a judge won’t grant it.

“Because there`s a lot of cases that have media attention… Because the standard is so high, it’s a tough thing for a defense attorney to show that you can`t get an unbiased jury,” he said.

Webb has until Nov. 1 to accept a plea deal. If not, the case will go to trial in December.

Webb is charged with felony hit and run. Sources tell CBS 6 News they don’t anticipate any new charges against him soon.