Good Samaritans chase down hit-and-run driver

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chivalry isn't dead in Nevada, just ask Elizabeth Spencer. Spencer was driving down Austin when she was struck by an Isuzu driven by Darren D. Richter, Nevada. After striking Spencer, Richter continued on his way; but several witnesses saw what happened and followed him, eventually finding where he had parked and reported him to the police.

"I just want people to know I think they're heroes," Spencer said. "Without those guys actions, he (Richter) would probably have gotten away with it."

Tom Pike was one of the people who chased after Richter and reported his location to the police.

"I wouldn't necessarily call it that," Pike said, downplaying his role. "It's just that I'd hate to see that happen to anyone I know and not have someone do something."

Pike said he had just entered his house when he heard the noise of the crash.

"I was just going in the back door and I heard the crash," Pike said. "I went out and looked around the side of the house and saw him trying to take off. My neighbor got in his car, and I got in my car, and we started after him."

Pike said that Richter tried to hide behind his house, but enough people were looking that his vehicle was noticed anyway.

"I wasn't the one who actually spotted it," Pike said. "He had pulled around back of his house, and you could just barely see it."

Pike said there were several people who quickly joined the effort to locate the hit-and-run driver.

"There were seven or eight of us chasing him," Pike said. "I'm just glad we found him and he got arrested."

Pike was puzzled by Richter's actions because he believes Richter had insurance.

"The thing I don't understand is why he would run if he had insurance," Pike said. "You're better off to just stay there and take the ticket. Now he has a bunch of other charges against him."

Nevada Police Chief Gary Herstein said that the department appreciates public cooperation.

"Any help from the public is appreciated," Herstein said.

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