Some time ago, a man named Daniel Parkka was given access to Maura Murray’s car and the data from the Saturn’s computer. Parkka is an expert in accident reconstruction. His findings were presented to the Murray family in a Collision Report. A copy of that report that was given to Erinn Larkin leaked online last year. The leaked version is grainy. Here’s a screenshot:
Over the last couple weeks, the theory that Maura Murray hit a UMass student with her Saturn during a quick break from work, has taken on a new light and now seems at least likely enough to be considered. The theory is that Maura took the car to New Hampshire to hide it from anyone looking for the vehicle involved in a hit-and-run on campus and to stage an accident that would explain the damage to the car. Further, the story goes that the airbags deployed at UMass when she hit Vasi, and that the bags were mended and arranged so that she could drive up to New Hampshire.
While reviewing Parkka’s report, a few details support the hit-and-run theory.
First, as you can see above, Parkka concluded that the damage to the hood and fender of Maura’s Saturn was not consistent with hitting a tree or snow bank or the final placement of the car. But coming at the report with a mind open to the hit-and-run theory, something else stands out.
On pages 12 and 13, Parkka explains some of the data he got from the car’s computer. Quote: “To associate the data collected from the SDM [Sensing and Diagnostic Module] with the case involving the disappearance of Maura Murray, the ignition cycle was evaluated. According to the data, the airbags deployed after 20,328 cycles of the ignition key. At the time this analyst downloaded the data, the ignition cycled was 20,335; a difference of 7 cycles. These 7 cycles could have occurred during the removed of the Saturn or any attempt to restart the vehicle after the airbag deployment.”
That could be a very important clue. Sometime between the airbags being deployed and Maura vanishing, she, or someone else, started (or tried to start) the car seven more times. Now, of course, some of this could be explained by Maura’s efforts after the crash in Haverhill to get the car moving again (if that’s what she wanted to do).
It could also explain a longer delay between airbags being deployed and the car being abandoned. If the hit-and-run theory is true, Maura would have driven back to the parking lot and gone to work again (this is the night she had the mental breakdown within an hour of the accident). She would have started it again when she drove to drop off scrubs (1 cycle); took out money for the ATM (2); bought booze (3); got gas (4). That leaves three more starts or attempted starts before the disappearance.
It could also explain why this collision report was never made public.