Crime

Car's Automatic Emergency System Helps Police Nab Hit-And-Run Driver

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
cathy bernsteincathy bernstein

Cathy Bernstein, 57, was allegedly behind the wheel during a hit-and-run in Port Lucie, Florida, on Dec. 1. Despite fleeing from the scene, Bernstein has been arrested because her car, which has an automatic emergency system, called the authorities upon impact, WPBF reported.

The emergency system connected to Bernstein, who told dispatchers that she hadn’t been an accident but that someone had pulled out in front of her. She also said she wasn’t sure why her vehicle called for help, but authorities later went to her home. 

Bernstein’s vehicle, which matched the description from victim Anna Preston, was seriously damaged and her airbag had been deployed. Police said Bernstein changed her story and told authorities that she hit a tree, but the paint from Preston’s car was still present on Bernstein’s vehicle.

Bernstein later admitted she was involved in the hit-and-run. Police later said at the time of the hit-and-run she had been involved in another accident and was fleeing the scene.

Preston was hospitalized with back injuries and Bernstein was taken to St. Lucie County Jail. Preston said the crash also ruined her holiday plans. "I have a contemporary dance company and we're doing our Christmas party," she told ABC7 Chicago. "And I went to get some presents."

Sources: WPBF, ABC7 Chicago Screenshot via WPBF