NBC12 News has uncovered graphic evidence in the hit-and-run crash that killed a Richmond woman on River Road. We've obtained a picture of the car police searched after Lanie Kruszewski was struck while riding her bike home from work last month. Suspect Elias Webb's attorneys led detectives to the vehicle.
The photo could be shown to jurors if Webb goes to trial in December. Right now, it is documented as "Commonwealth's exhibit 1" in the same case file where we found search warrants listing evidence taken from that SUV.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one has left many people who've seen it, speechless.
The front window is smashed. Near the driver's side, the glass is pressed in and in some places there are holes, where the window shattered. On the front bumper, you can make out a deep red splotch.
We took the photo to former police officer and private investigator James Bates to learn more about how detectives will use the SUV to figure out what happened to Lanie Kruszewski.
"There are so many pieces to the puzzle oftentimes that it's very difficult," he said.
Defense attorneys say Elias Webb is remorseful and cooperating. They tell us he not only admitted to police he was driving the Dodge Durango and knew he hit something that night, but that he thought it may have been a deer.
For forensics detectives this picture and this vehicle hold immeasurable value.
"It would not be a problem at all differentiating between the two in saying yes this is positively animal blood and it's this type or it's human blood and it's this type," Bates explained.
Experts say the question is whether Webb should have known it was a young woman on a bicycle, and not a deer, that he hit.
"Whatever was struck by this vehicle obviously went over the hood of the vehicle and struck the windshield," Bates added.
Without viewing the photo our legal analyst previously explained evidence police will have to gather.
"If there's evidence that the windshield was cracked that she struck the windshield and may have been carried for some distance on the car then that would be inconsistent with the reasonable belief that you had just struck a deer," Steve Benjamin explained.
Webb's attorneys have indicated they want a change of venue and the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office taken off the case. They have not said why and those motions have not yet been filed.
Webb has until November 1 to accept a plea deal. If not, the case is scheduled to go to trial in December.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics