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Bend couple believes hit-and-run may have been intentional, frustrated with police response

(Update: adding video, comments from alleged victim and wife)

Police say woman was 'brushed' by SUV, sustained minor injuries; crash caught on video

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Early on Sunday, July 3, Madeline Bason and her wife, Erica Cardwell, were walking by the Deschutes County Courthouse in downtown Bend.

“As I was crossing the road, I heard tires screech, and so I looked to the side, and I just kind of saw headlights,” Bason recalled Monday.

Bend police said a driver hit Bason, then drove off.

She works at a club downtown and was heading to her car late after work when she says the driver swerved from the opposite side of the road toward her.

“Is he going to stop?” Bason said she asked herself when she saw the car. “No -- he’s not stopping, he's actually coming at me.”

Bason went to the hospital and was treated for shoulder and neck sprains.

Cardwell sprinted after the car to take a picture of the license plate, but couldn't catch it. 

She said her wife was her biggest concern. 

“I mean, she could have been killed, is the biggest thing,” Cardwell said. “I mean, Maddie could have been seriously hurt.”

Cardwell said they were holding hands while walking along the street, and the driver's abrupt move makes her think he could have hit her on purpose.

“He might have targeted her -- he did swerve,” Cardwell said. “But it could have been just being drunk.”

The couple received the clip of surveillance video from a Bend police officer five days after the incident.

Bend police said they gathered footage from several locations, but the license plate was not visible due to the quality.

Cardwell, who works at a car dealership, believes the car was a silver 2019/2020 Hyundai Tucson.

Bend Police also said the information and photos were released Monday because police had “exhausted all leads” to find the driver.

“I know that there’s only so much that they can do, but at the same time like, I’m a human being,” Bason said, with frustration. “And I feel like I’ve been treated like less than that during this whole time.”

Bason doesn't know why she was hit, but at this point, she just wants justice.

“I don’t really have much to say to the person,” Bason said. 

Bason and Cardwell said they do appreciate the help they’ve gotten from some of the Bend Police officers.

They’re offering a $1,000 reward for anyone in the community with information leading to a conviction.


More info, from the Bend Police news release:

Police responded around 3:15 a.m. on Sunday, July 3, to the reported vehicle-vs.-pedestrian accident in front of the Deschutes County Courthouse on Northwest Bond Street, police Communications Manager Sheila Miller said.

An investigation showed a 27-year-old Bend woman was crossing Bond Street outside of a crosswalk when a white or silver SUV heading north on Bond Street swerved and brushed the woman, Miller said. The victim and witnesses said the SUV had swerved toward her and accelerated. The SUV brushed her right leg and hip, causing her to fall and sustain minor injuries.

The driver did not stop, and police, along with other law enforcement agencies, tried to find the vehicle but were unsuccessful.

Police also gathered surveillance video from several nearby locations, but the license plate was not visible due to the videos’ quality, Miller said. She added that the information and photos were released Monday because police had “exhausted all leads” to find the driver.

The vehicle was described as a white or silver four-door SUV, possibly an Audi Q5 or Q7, Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage. Miller said it might have some damage to its passenger-side hood, body or mirror.

Anyone with information about the collision or the suspect vehicle was asked to contact Bend Police through the county’s non-emergency dispatch line at 541-693-6911.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts
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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

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