Last week, we told you about the frustrating and confusing case of a minor accident in Orange County, California that turned into 17 cars being impounded for more than 100 days. According to what we’re told happened at the hearing, the cars may have been held for no good reason. Regardless, following a hearing before a judge on Friday, all the cars were released.
The Orange County Register reports that at first, Judge Kathleen E. Roberts just released three of the cars, including Bryan Casella’s green Nissan GT-R. Later that day, the decision was made to return all the cars.
I spoke with Casella, who said that during the hearing no reasons were given for why the cars were impounded, and no reason was given for why they were now released.
Police seemed to be pursuing allegations of street racing for the group of drivers, suggesting that such racing contributed to the initial accident with the cyclist. There is no official accident report yet to confirm this, nor have any formal charges been filed about any of the drivers.
I also spoke with another one of the car owners, Uzzi Chowdhry, who told me that during the hearing, the DA stated that the cars were impounded so that data could be collected from the cars. That data was collected months ago, and the DA admitted, according to Chowdhry, that the data has not even been looked at yet.
Chowdhry said that his car had scrapes on the lower part of the front bumper and one dent; he also suggested that this type of damage occurred on other cars as well. Casella stated that there was some damage to his GT-R’s carbon fiber chin spoiler, for example. Chowdhry also noted that his car had two additional miles on it since the impoundment.
We have reached out to the Orange County District Attorney’s office for a statement, as well as other owners involved in this case, and will update as soon as we learn more.