I work at the auto-express violation division of Metropistas in P.R. and my job is to take the license plates of the cars that passed the auto-pay tolls without funds in their account to later process the infraction of the mail that the license plate in the picture taken provided. Normally thousands of cars per day are fined by this system, that is why my job is to look only at the violations at toll #2, located in the city of Arecibo.

It has come to my attention that there is a car that has been pictured every day at 3:16 AM for the last three years without funds in its account. I have been working for seven years already and it took me three years to point this case out. The speed limit of the toll is 55mph and this car has passed every single day at 120mph. The same procedure is always followed with the administration of the ticket, yet none of them have been dealt with in the past 3 years, all of them stacking up to a total of $36,000 dollars in auto-express fines.

In cases like this the superior advisor is notified and the phone associated with the license plate is provided, in order for my department to make the call and look for a solution, yet after 10 days of calling the residence we had to report that we could not reach anybody in the only phone provided by the account. Mandy, the other one in charge of toll #2 and me were puzzled with this issue; for a debt like this in our department to be unsolved for three years made us look bad. We could even lose our jobs at Metropistas.

I suggested to Mandy that we should go to the address provided in the account to see if anyone lived there, if not we might well be dealing with a case of vehicle corruption. The address took us to a small neighborhood called Piedras in the town of Camuy. These days with a GPS addresses are easy to find so in about one and a half hour we arrived at the house. What we found was the rest of what was once called a house, for it did not have doors or windows, all stolen throughout the years of non-inhabitation. It was obvious that the location has not been lived for years and someone might be using this address for some toll-free drives in the highway. As we were about to leave, Mandy saw in the back of the house the remains of a crushed car covered in grass, buried by time and moss. It took a while to distinguish between the front and the back of the crushed metal in front of us but Mandy finally found the VIN number and license plate of the vehicle, along with a rather disturbing realization.

The 1986 Toyota Corolla that was decimated before our eyes had been out of the road for exactly three years. With a disturbing sensation in my entrails caused by an unexplained fear coursing through my veins I managed to get in the car and told Mandy to drive us back to the office to search for the records of the last owner of the car. Mandy’s face upon reading the file was even worse than mine.

Jose Mojíca crashed against toll #2 in October of 2010 at a reported 120 miles per hour, dying in the act at 3:16 AM. After some time of thinking, we came to the conclusion that somebody is using the deceased License plate and VIN number, and then Mandy saw the time and had the idea to go this night to toll #2 just in time to capture in video and cameras additional to the one that has taken the exact same picture for three years. What happened that night convinced me to stop addressing this matter ever again after the official release from this case. At exactly 3:16 AM. the toll camera snapped a picture with no car passing under it until 3:18 that took the picture of a car that passed by normally.

After the picture was presented to our superiors, we had the orders to file this case in an archive along with the ones that will appear every day at 3:16 AM. Presented with this text is one of hundreds of pictures that still take place at precisely this time.