Scary Hit and Run Incident

This lunchtime got back after a lovely laid back six day break in Provence, the Gard and Herault. Smooth drive home and arrived totally relaxed and chilled. But then…

Found a scary letter in the box from the local police who want to interview me tomorrow morning about a hit and run offence two weeks ago! I don’t know, where, what happened, nor at what time. I don’t normally leave chez nous on Thursdays and have no recollection of going anywhere that particular day. I might have gone to the dechetterie, and had a crash on the way back and forgotten about the whole incident, but the car’s intact. Similarly my wife who would definitely have been out twice that day to take our caniche for a walk alongside the Lot, might have run over a cyclist or similar and not noticed (Not!)

So, it’s all very Kafkaesque - hopefully all will be cleared up tomorrow, but I can’t imagine by what route - Gulp!

Let us know what happens?

Also I am sure you will think hard about any evidence as to what hours you may have been where, that day. eg look at the 30-minutely snapshot of electricity use through the day at home if you gave EDF your permission to collect that data.


Hopefully, this will have a happy endingfor you …
They’ve probably got a description of the vehicle and are checking all the registered owners to find the “guilty” car.

A few years back I smilingly said a cheery Bonjour to the Gendarmes as they got out of their vehicle…
Hmm… they explained they were seeking Monsieur XYZ
(gulp) that’s OH I’m thinking…
Oh yes, I said… I do know him, why do you want him ???
Ah, we need to check his car… there’s been an incident… we’ve a description of the vehicle and the details match his car.

Oh really… which car is that…
A bit like that one over there…
OK… at that point I come clean and explain I’m Mrs XYZ but that we don’t have a car anything like the one they are pointing at…
Oh yes, you do, they retorted… we have the list from the Prefecture…
He’s recently registered a Citroen blah blah blah…

Oh what a relief… I escorted them to our garage and pointed out the vehicle in question…

Big smiles all round… the list from the Prefecture had omitted to mention that OH’s car was a 1925 vehicle… and nothing like the modern citroens… :rofl: :rofl:


Thanks Karen, that’s useful. I think our phone GPS and online activity records might also help, but hope it doesn’t go that far. I don’t know any what, where or when…

Good job the car’s not been cleaned for a few weeks - perhaps the dirt will exonerate us!

Thanks Stella, had never considered that possibility - that’s the first plausible explanation and I’m very grateful for it

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Most prisons have decent wifi so Mark will be able to let us know what happened. :grinning:


Yes, people are not always sure about makes and models and say its a black car, a hatchback bla bla bla… so they have to check out anything that resembles said description. They only have to look at your car to see there is no impact damage.

If you have Google Maps on your phone then it will have stored your location history showing where you were at the time of the incident they’re investigating.


True - one can probably even get the Championship match results - sorry, that one’s a bit below the belt !

Thanks Brian

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How does Tim17 know this?


Maybe he’s really Tim(e) 17…

Although I hope he didn’t do seventeen years…


I too have had this, accused of a parking incident in a hospital car park. The "interview " is voluntary (yeah right) and at the end of it a full ink fingerprinting process was done followed by mug shots. Then it all gets sent to the magistrates who eventually make a decision. I’ve heard nothing back yet, apparently there were conveniently 2 witnesses
Good luck, let us know what happens

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Thanks, I think this sort of thing is scarier when you’re a foreign resident, whose command of French will be strained by this sort of thing.

Hope it stays like that.

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It could of course be that they are seeking witnesses, not culprits? Someone could have mentioned a car, or a foreigner, or some other distinguishing feature that led them to you…


Thanks, as far as I can remember the car didn’t go more than a km from chez nous that day, so if hopefully what you suggest is the case, we probably won’t be much help. “Sorry Constable, didn’t see nuffink.”

I was accused of leaving the scene of an accident in a car parkand asked to take my car to the gendarmerie to be examined and photographed.
I was interviewed and at the end I asked if anyone had photographed my car. No, so I asked to see if they had photos of the other car. Yes, but they couldn’t find them.
When he looked at my car my french friend said he said there no marks which matched.
I was still charged, despite our Mayor going to the gendarmerie to say the woman owner was well known in our communei for causing troublei. He was told it was too late.
Eventually the Procureur refused to prosecute.
The car involved was owned by the wife of a retired traffic gendarme.
Be careful.

Sorry, I didn’t see your post before replying.
Good luck.
After not being prosecuted, I was called back to have my fingerprints taken and photographed like a criminal, to complete their paperwork.
I have never been so upset and humiliated in my life.


This morning OH and self went to the police station and learned that the hit and run incident had actually occurred the following day, but the date had been incorrectly transcribed. We were then told the location and gradually all became clear. Someone in our car (not me!) had over-ambitiously tried to parallel park on a busy street, but aborted and instead parked round the corner, unknowingly leaving a little white paint from our car on the car behind. Guilty as charged! The policeman was very helpful, no one is going to go to jail and we’ll let the insurance deal with everything.

Such a relief and it puts my wife three - nil up in our insurance claim stakes (though that’s unlikely to stop her criticising my driving).

Lastly, thanks to everyone above for your reassuring posts…


I’m very glad that it was not too serious.

Although I am frankly astonished that anyone in France would report such tiny amounts of damage to their car. Here in 86 parking scars are a badge of pride rather than a mark of shame!