MARIETTA - Recently obtained surveillance video contradicts eyewitness accounts of a Jan. 21 hit-skip crash that seriously injured a Marietta College student.
Based on witness descriptions, police were asking for help finding a dark blue or black semi that was pulling a flatbed trailer, possibly loaded with a light blue container box.
Reviewing a video Monday obtained from security cameras at Speedway on Second Street, Marietta police patrolman Mark Caldwell said the video clearly indicates police have been looking for the wrong truck.
"I was the first officer on the scene and talked to a witness right then who described the truck," he said. "She said the trailer was empty. It clearly isn't."
Another witness thought the truck may have had a light blue container box, but the video shows a light blue semi, pulling a flatbed trailer with a small load of what appears to be pipe or logs.
The truck has a sleeping area on the back of the cab and the trailer is a little unusual because it has a "spread axle," meaning the rear sets of wheels are spaced farther apart than what is found on typical trailers.
The truck's sleeper cab was equipped with a window on the right side of the vehicle.
The video shows the truck pass the business just moments before the wreck.
"Even with eyewitness accounts, it isn't unusual for us to talk to businesses to try to get video," Caldwell said. "This is a good example of why that's important."
Police say the truck ran a red light at Second and Scammel streets and struck a 1992 Lexus SC300 that was driven by college student Erin M. Nicola, 22, of Bellaire, Ohio.
After the wreck, Nicola spent about a week in an intensive care unit at Marietta Memorial Hospital. Police said her car slid under the trailer of the truck, which ran over her vehicle and continued northbound on Second Street.
Nicola has since been released from Marietta Memorial Hospital, but has yet to return to campus, college officials said Monday.
Marietta police Capt. Jeff Waite said it isn't unusual for eyewitness accounts to be a little off.
"No one is trying to give misinformation, but especially when there is a wreck or some kind of unexpected incident, you aren't looking with the thought of later identifying what happened," he said. "People get things wrong; we're all human."
Police are still studying the video in hopes of finding some markers on the truck.