Home » ‘That Would Be Huge’: California Police Needs Our Help Identifying Car Involved In Deadly Hit-And-Run (UPDATED)

‘That Would Be Huge’: California Police Needs Our Help Identifying Car Involved In Deadly Hit-And-Run (UPDATED)

Carid Top hit and run
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Now’s the time. All those hours of you obsessive over cars, staring at them, taking pictures of them, dreaming about them — now’s the time to put that to use, because I just got off the phone with Detective Currier of the Capitola Police Department in California, and: He needs our help. Let’s put our heads together and identify this car involved in a hit-and-run.

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Oldskool
Oldskool
6 months ago

Is the video even the correct vehicle? There’s only one vehicle going right to left in that time range on the video. As it’s maybe 3/4 the way to the left, is a good view of the rear. The taillights clearly look like 3 square-ish panels with the middle panel not quite as bright. No hint of a horizontal split whatsoever. Where as a horizontal split is clear in the still photo. Also the video shows more of a rear face mounted taillight, where as the still photo shows more of a corner mounted taillight.

Matthew Southenberg
Matthew Southenberg
6 months ago

I posted this more than a day ago but it’s stuck in approval hell, so I’ve broken all the links. Just remove all the commas.

I’m willing to bet it’s a new gen Pilot, LX trim.
See this night drive: h,tt,ps://w,ww.y,o,u,t,u,b,e,.com/watch?v=bmqqoN3zfWI
Notice the single-line headlights with the slight ledge below them, just like the video.
At 1:03, note the two bar taillights, with the top wrapping around slightly larger. These are also far thicker than the rear lights on the Genesis GV70/80, excluding that. The Genesises also have a bigger shark fin.
Here is a video of a LX with no rails and the exact same 5 spoke rims. ht,tps://ww,w.y,o,u,t,u,b,e,.com/watch?v=8spsE2q7ovs
The 5 spokes seen here also have thicker rubber than the ones on the Genesises, and they also are swoopier on them.
Also some general design characteristics seem to match, the roof slopes down to the back (the stitched photo is slightly misrepresentative, the rear should be slightly lower, not the blurry floorboard) and the windshield/hood angles are the same in the pics and with the Pilot. The plate lights seem to be in the same place, the spoiler matches, and you can even see the strip of speaker/trim/whatever on the dash (h,ttps,://cdn.j,d,p,o,w,e,r,.com/JDP_2023%20Honda%20Pilot%20Interior%20Dashboard%20Elite%20Trim.jpg).

Last edited 6 months ago by Matthew Southenberg
Rockafella
Rockafella
6 months ago

This is a 2013-2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Ultimate.

Factory HIDs (not blotchy like aftermarket). Rear shot in video shows a single lens with horizontal reflector in the bumper (that goes away after the car rounds the corner). 5 spoke wheels that are actually twin spoke.

Roof looks flat but it’s actually a panoramic. Check out the slight texture transition right at the light flare in the rear shot, you’ll see the same texture change in the front. Rails a super short but they are there.

The taillights are throwing everyone off because people are looking for a split from ground height. Imagine an elevated angle where one light has two elements in a single lens.

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15106964/2015-hyundai-santa-fe-sport-awd-20t-test-review/

John Paul Jose
John Paul Jose
6 months ago

I agree with Crank Shaft and GK450 (and probably others have said so earlier too)- This looks to be a 2023 or 2024 Honda Pilot, and most likely an EX-L or possibly an LX. See the linked detective-show-inspired collage of clipped, circled and strung-together images with explanatory text. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OjGc54iI_nE3tPYCyfK9alSWkyG6JSPA/view?usp=sharing

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
6 months ago
Reply to  John Paul Jose

Nice work! 🙂

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
6 months ago

I’ve been driving my truck all day today looking down at the roofs of homoge-mobiles of this size.

It turns out flat roofs free of structural wrinkles, rails or sunroofs are few and far between.

The only two I saw in traffic all day that also had five spoke wheels and similar separated red bands of tail lights where a Honda Pilot and an Acura MDX.

GK450
GK450
6 months ago

I’m not the first to say it, but it’s definitely a 23-24 Pilot. The lack of roof rails and a sunroof match both the LX base model and the EX-L match, but the silver 5-spoke wheels are only available on the LX. Furthermore, the taillight shape matches, with a “line” of light on the top and bottom of the light, with the turn signal in the middle as seen here. The thin headlights seem to match, as well as the rear overhang and side profile. Here’s the side profile of a gray LX model, if you imagine this in black it’s spot on.

Newcarpetsmell
Newcarpetsmell
6 months ago
Reply to  GK450

The front wheel to headlight distance seems to match as well, which others have noted doesn’t match a GV80 or Discovery. I hate how much I keep changing my mind on this, but I think a 23-24 Pilot is a good match. The Pilot tail lights are also more similar to the picture by not wrapping around as much as the GV80 and Discovery.

Last edited 6 months ago by Newcarpetsmell
Matthew Southenberg
Matthew Southenberg
6 months ago

I’m willing to bet it’s a new gen Pilot, LX trim.

See this night drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmqqoN3zfWI
Notice the single-line headlights with the slight ledge below them, just like the video.

At 1:03, note the two bar taillights, with the top wrapping around slightly larger. These are also far thicker than the rear lights on the Genesis GV70/80, excluding that. The Genesises also have a bigger shark fin.

Here is a video of a LX with no rails and the exact same 5 spoke rims. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8spsE2q7ovs
The 5 spokes seen here also have thicker rubber than the ones on the Genesises, and they also are swoopier on them.

Also some general design characteristics seem to match, the roof slopes down to the back (the stitched photo is slightly misrepresentative, the rear should be slightly lower, not the blurry floorboard) and the windshield/hood angles are the same in the pics and with the Pilot. The plate lights seem to be in the same place, the spoiler matches, and you can even see the strip of speaker/trim/whatever on the dash (https://cdn.jdpower.com/JDP_2023%20Honda%20Pilot%20Interior%20Dashboard%20Elite%20Trim.jpg).

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
6 months ago

It is a 2023 or 2024 Honda Pilot!

Drew
Drew
6 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

I like where your head is at. Having followed one home last night, the taillights looked right. The headlights look right. I see the LX and EX-L have no roof rail. It has enough front and rear overhang. The hood doesn’t look quite right to me, but it could be the light. The windshield angle looks good.

This is the best theory at this point, I think.

Last edited 6 months ago by Drew
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
6 months ago
Reply to  Drew

The LX and the EX-L also have fog lights that match up.

Last edited 6 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
6 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

I really hope I’m not wrong, but I can’t find anything that excludes it and everything about the 2023 EX-L model seem to match, including the light blue color availability and the 5 spoke wheels.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
6 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Props to Alex. He got there first.

Elanosaurous
Elanosaurous
6 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

2023/4 Pilot in the new body style def looks like it could be a fit. It doesn’t come in green, but I’m not sure we can trust the color from the pic. Could be blue being hit with a yellow light. There are a couple of wheel options that match what we see in the photo, and the tail lights are a good match.

Last edited 6 months ago by Elanosaurous
Doug Kingham
Doug Kingham
6 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Oooh, well done, I think this ticks all of the boxes. This side profile photo convinced me:
2023HOS030003_1280_03 (555×416) (consumerreports.org)

Bjorne Tobey Wilde
Bjorne Tobey Wilde
6 months ago

I’m probably off as the tail lights don’t seem quite right but the headlights to me look like 2021ish Buick Enclave.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
6 months ago

Please help by doing what I am. Specifically, go to the following site and change the model year in the link. This way we can methodically work back through every possibility. One of you will be the lucky winner!

https://www.cars.com/research/suv/2023/?page=1&page_size=40

Elanosaurous
Elanosaurous
6 months ago

I’m leaning toward mid 2000’s Highlander. Here’s a link to a marked up version of the image I did with a few thoughts:

  • The wheelbase in the pasted together image is too short. Pretty much every modern car (with a few exceptions) has a wheelbase where there are 2.5 wheel diameters between the wheels (it’s the first thing you’re taught as a car designer). This results in about 4.5 rim diameters between rims, which is what we’re able to make out more easily here. E.g a CRV is 4.5 rim diameters and a Highlander about 4.25 between rims, but in the combined photo there’s only about 3 rim widths. So I think we’re missing a good foot off the length of the car based on that photo – it’s much bigger than it appears.
  • The roof appears to be pretty parallel to the ground, and the tail lights are barely higher than the headlights. This rules out cars like the Escape, Disco Sport and CRV where the roof slopes at the back, and/or the tail lights are a fair bit higher up than the headlights
  • The shape of the rear spoiler overhang matches well with a Highlander, as do the character lines on the hood, and the width that they come together to at the front to define the width of the front grille.
  • I’m stretching here, but I think I can make out where the window/c-pillar line, and extending that line down it intersects the wrap-around tail lights in the same place a Highlander’s does.
  • As others have noted, the wheels and color could be a match for that generation of Highlander, and the relatively squared off back is too.

Two things which don’t match to it being a Highlander:

  1. As others have also noted the double stack tail lights. As some have speculated this could be because indicator is on. But if you’ve just done a hit and run and are pumped with adrenaline or DUI, would you bother with turn signals? Also, many cars, including a Highlander, have indicators on the mirrors, and the bright spot in that location in the photo doesn’t seem bright enough to be an indicator.
  2. Where the part line for the rear spoiler intersects the side profile seems to make it line up quite closely with where the top-rear corner of the rear-side window is. On the mid-200’s Highlander that line is well back from where the window is.
Richard
Richard
6 months ago

It looks to me like a Genesis GV80. The lights seem to match, and it’s sold in that shade of green

Kate S
Kate S
6 months ago

I’m 95% certain it’s a 2018 Ford Explorer.

You can tell most easily from photos of that model’s rear quarter panel, especially with the “snowflake” wheels. You can also tell from the security camera photo of the front of it it has a yellow running light in the back of the headlight cluster, exactly where the Explorer has it.

See this picture

Harmon20
Harmon20
6 months ago

Land Rover Discovery

Shark fin forward of the hatch parting line, the tail and head lights wrapping around in two lines, slight drop off curve of rear roof slight rounding and undercut ass end.

Last edited 6 months ago by Harmon20
LikesCars
LikesCars
6 months ago

I think it may also be a 4th gen RAV4. From the video, the placement of the taillight and the reflector as well as the shark fin antenna. I also think it may be blue from the video. Also from the comparison to the truck as it passes and the Focus that follows, it appears to be more of a mid-size/compact CUV.

Bram Oude Elberink
Bram Oude Elberink
6 months ago

Regarding the two tail lights; could it be that one of the two happens to be the right indicator light? Would that make any sense given the road situation at that point? Or maybe the hazardlights are still on at that point after having stopped? If so, this could be a 2015/2016 Toyota Highlander with the indicator light on.

Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith
6 months ago

I believe it is a late model Equinox. I saw it earlier and thought it might be a pilot, but i just got an ad from budget for a rental equinox, and it fits this almost exactly.

Danger Ranger
Danger Ranger
6 months ago

Earlier, I thought it was an Audi, but I was behind an Equinox today, the taillights almost match from the side, especially when in motion
https://www.motortrend.com/cars/chevrolet/equinox/2023/photos/

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
6 months ago

The first thing I thought was Hyundai Veracruz.

https://carfax-img.vast.com/carfax/v2/1229810254721516329/1/344×258

The headlights might not mean much due to LEDs being inexpensive and plentiful.

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