“It happened so fast:” victim of stolen car hit-and-run shares story

MADISON, Wis (WMTV) - Madison police are searching for a hit-and-run suspect after a stolen car ran a red light and struck another vehicle Sunday evening.

Tara Lettman said she remembers a car T-boned her and sped off. She said, thankfully, she was the only one in the car at the time and was not seriously hurt.

“I was crossing the intersection of East Johnson and East Washington Ave., had a green light and out of nowhere was hit by a car,” she said.

Police said witnesses reported a SUV was speeding and inbound on East Washington Ave. around 7:20 p.m. when it ran a red light at East Johnson St. and hit Lettman’s car.

Officers said the car was stolen from Fort Atkinson and found downtown shortly after the incident.

“Very disturbing and shocking, the extent of the damage,” Lettman said.

Madison Police Department Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain said Lettman’s case is a testament to a larger issue of stolen cars in the area.

“We are very concerned about the number of vehicles that are being stolen, but the people that are driving these stolen vehicles are just plain bad drivers.” he said.

According to MPD, through Aug. of this year, there have been nearly 300 reports of stolen cars just in Madison.

“It’s a real problem. I think it’s one of the top priorities for our police department,” DeSpain said.

Lettman said she hopes police can catch the person responsible.
“It really bothers me, I am still struggling mentally and emotionally from it,” she said.

DeSpain said the investigation is on-going and police are looking at surveillance footage and working with Fort Atkinson police.