When Cars Turn into Rats: Ford Focus Calls 911 After Hit-and-Run, Gives Its Owner Away

Ford Focus interior 1 photo
Photo: Dragos Savu for Ford Romania
You love your car and you’re pretty sure the feeling is mutual. But think about it: when was the last time you two spent some quality time together? When did you buy it a gift? When did you go out for a drive just for the sake of it? How often do you wash it and wax it? Do you sleep on your bed, or on your garage floor?
Think about all these things before you assume your car is on your side. They’re not completely autonomous, so they have to obey your instructions, but given the slightest chance to turn on you, make no mistake: unless you’ve been the ideal owner, they will do it.

Cathy Bernstein, a 57-year-old woman from Port St. Lucie, Florida, learned that the hard way. While driving up the Prima Vista Boulevard, she crashed into a truck before plowing through a van. Being the sensible citizen type, she didn’t stop and turned what would have otherwise been a pretty minor bump that her insurance would have covered into a hit-and-run.

What she didn’t know was that her car, a Ford Focus, had already called the emergency service reporting that the car had been involved in an accident. When Mrs. Bernstein was called back by the 911 operator, she denied being involved in any type of accident, even though her voice didn’t sound so credible.

Asked whether she had left the scene of an accident, she replied, “No, I would never do that.” Well, given the whole experience, she will at least never do that again.

Cathy Bernstein and one of her victims, Anna Preston, the woman driving the minivan involved in the accident, actually met in the hospital where they were both receiving treatment. The only difference was that once that was over, one returned home while the other was taken to jail by the police.

Somehow foreseeing this part, Mrs. Preston said, quoted by abc7chicago, “I saw her at the hospital. I just went by, and I’m assuming she had a worse night than I did.

But the real moral of this story is that, if you think you’re going to flee from the scene of an accident you’re guilty of, make sure you switch off the emergency call feature of your car somehow. Or, better yet, take responsibility for your actions.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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