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Evidence Collection in a Traffic Investigation, by Dick Warrington, Forensic Magazine


This post is an excerpt from Mr. Warrington’s post, Investigating the Fender Bender (http://tinyurl.com/o979zk5). I recommend it, and the links to more information on this subject that you will find at the end of the post. -CCE

Most of the time traffic accidents are fairly standard—the typical fender bender where one person runs into another. The officer on duty responds, assesses the situation, and completes the proper paperwork. But sometimes officers deal with much more serious, complex situations. Dealing with a hundred car pile-up, for example, is quite challenging, since it’s like carrying out multiple investigations simultaneously. When responding to multiple car accidents, hit and runs, fatalities, and high speed chases, officers can benefit by calling in Crime Scene Officers to assist with the investigation.

Because this type of case usually involves extensive damage to property, serious injuries, and/or fatalities, lawsuits will likely result. Questions of liability, product failure, etc. will also come up. Given these facts, it’s important to work together to conduct a thorough investigation. Since the CSO’s responsibilities include documentation, evidence identification, and evidence collection, we’ll look at each of those areas. . . .