ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A frightening rollover hit-and-run crash on Interstate 55 has been solved, according to police and prosecutors, with the help of the suspect’s own in-vehicle cameras. Court records reveal the trail of evidence begins with video of the suspect stumbling into his car before the crash.
Two crashes were reported on Dec. 2, 2022, at about 9 p.m. A Tesla driver on I-55 near Lindbergh reportedly struck an SUV and drove away. A report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol says the Tesla then hit another SUV, causing that vehicle to roll over.
No one knew it yet, but the suspect’s Tesla had already recorded everything investigators needed to make an arrest.
“As technology evolves, so does our investigative skills and techniques,” Corporal Dallas Thompson said.
Court records indicate all of the evidence came from multiple cameras that are standard in Teslas. A probable cause statement lists evidence such as: “A date and time-stamped video of defendant exiting the front entrance of a restaurant on the night of the incident. Defendant was stumbling and staggering as he got into his vehicle shortly before the motor vehicle crashes on I-55. He also nearly fell over and bumped into a parked car.”
Other alleged video evidence, listed in the court record, includes:
- “Traveling on and off the roadway”
- “Following other vehicles too closely”
- “A video of the crash with a Toyota and leaving the scene was on the data recorder.”
“People might think they’re getting away with a crime, but more than likely through our investigation, we’re probably going to uncover some kind of video,” Thompson said.
The suspect in this case, however, seemed surprised when FOX 2 asked for a comment about the charges just filed, some eight months after the incident. Ryan Benjamin Horrell, 48, claimed not to know what we were talking about when we visited his St. Peters address listed on the charging documents. He took the court papers we had to show him, did not hand them back, then closed and locked his door.
Court records indicate this is the defendant’s fourth DWI arrest. Horrell’s current charges are for aggravated DWI and felony leaving the scene of an accident.