DALLAS (CBS11 I-TEAM) – Every day someone in North Texas is injured in a hit-and-run crash, according to state accident reports.
That was the case when Sanyei Bynum of Mesquite was rear-ended in Dallas on her way from work.
Bynum was stopped at a red light at Interstate 635 and Jupiter Road when a full size pickup truck slammed into the back of her Honda Civic.
“It’s terrifying,” she said. “You are just hoping to God that you are going to make it through.”
The driver of the pickup sped away without leaving his insurance information or even checking to see if Bynum was okay.
However, he left behind a clue Bynum said she was confident would eventually lead to his arrest.
When the truck hit her car, the truck’s Texas license plate fell off. A man standing at the corner, who witnessed the crash, handed Bynum the plate.
“I knew that would be the thing that we would be able to use in court to try and convict him or do whatever we needed to do to bring justice to a head,” Bynum said.
At least, that is what she thought.
Having suffered severe neck and spin injuries in the accident Bynum had to learn to walk again.
She said her injuries forced her to leave her job as a physical therapist and cost her more than $300,000 in lost wages and medical expenses.
“It’s been a nightmare,” she said. “It’s been complete hell if I had to tell you.”
Bynum said she was hoping much of the financial strain as a result of the crash could be resolved with an arrest in the case.
With the license plate, Dallas police identified the truck’s registered owner.
According to a department public information officer, a detective went to the truck owner’s home in Richardson three times but each time no one answered.
The police department also told the I-Team in an email, “The detective mailed a letter to the registered owner’s address asking them to call or come to the Vehicle Crimes office to meet with him regarding the involvement of their vehicle in a crash. The detective never received a call or interview.”
The vehicle’s owner then moved out of state and refused to talk to police when investigators called.
The I-Team was also hung up on when it called numbers listed for the truck’s registered owner.
Dallas Police suspended the case with no arrest.
Former Dallas Police traffic investigator Dudley Marchetti said hit and run cases are often difficult to solve. He said one of the main reasons so many in Dallas go unsolved is because he said there is not enough traffic detectives.
Each of Dallas’ nine traffic detectives averages more than 130 traffic investigations a month, according to statistics provided by the Dallas Police Department.
“It’s a lack of manpower,” Marchetti said. “You simply do not have enough people.”
However, the Dallas Police Department said the number of detectives is not the reason no arrest was made in Bynum’s case.
The department said no arrest was made because there was not enough evidence proving the truck’s registered owner was the one driving the truck at the time of the crash.
“According to the report, there were no fact witnesses that could identify the driver of the suspect vehicle,” a Dallas police spokesperson told the I-Team in an email.
Bynum, however, told the I-Team she could identify the driver.
The inability to prove who was driving the suspect vehicle has been cited by police departments across North Texas numerous times in unsolved hit-and-run cases.
With her medical bills pilling up and no relief in sight, Bynum filed for bankruptcy.
She said the unsolved hit and run case has left her financially doomed and emotionally devastated.