Viewer tip helps detectives solve hit-and-run case

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SAN DIEGO -- On Sept. 17, the 55-year-old teacher was cycling up the 2700 block of Clairemont Drive when a vehicle struck her from behind and left her laying in the roadway.

“I was on the pavement. I was screaming," Carol Lord said. "My foot and my leg were in more pain than I’ve ever been in in my life.”

On Tuesday, FOX 5 sent out an alert on behalf of San Diego police detectives looking for a 2005 to 2009 model Buick Lacrosse. An anonymous FOX 5 viewer saw the story and called in a tip, which led FOX 5 and traffic detectives to a Pacific Beach body shop.

“The passenger-side mirror was left at the scene. We have that part, along with some other parts that were left at the scene," said Sgt. Timothy Underwood of the San Diego Police Department Traffic Investigations.

“Oh yeah, look at that…it fits right in there. Yup, that’s our car," said Detective Heidi Hawley of the San Diego Police Department Traffic Investigations.

“The passenger mirror preliminarily appears to match up to the missing mirror of this vehicle," Underwood said.

Underwood and Hawley said the FOX 5 viewer helped investigators find the vehicle before it was fixed.

“We wouldn’t have had the evidence to show whether or not it was the car," said Hawley.

“It would’ve been like finding a needle in a haystack," said Underwood.

News of the development reached Lord while she was making her first appearance since the accident at her workplace, Alice Birney Elementary.

“That’s a really big relief," said Lord. “It’s going to allow a lot of closure.”

Lord is back up and moving but has a lot of work ahead.

“Total recovery from where I was before, to this, to where it is -- a year to a year-and-a-half," she said.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we would like to eventually talk to the owner and find out what’s happening with his car," Underwood said.

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