Myriad of tools used to reconstruct accidents

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) Something you probably didn't know, in newer model cars there is a device that acts like a plane's black box, which helps law enforcement officers gather data after a car accident. This device is just one tool investigators use when reconstructing the scene of an accident.

"There's a device they have in these newer model cars that tells you the speed they were going before they hit the brakes and made impact," said Sgt. Jerri James with the City of Florence Police Department.

Sergeant Jerri James, with the City of Florence Police works multiple car crashes every day.

"It may look the same to a regular citizen, but every accident and every scene is totally different. You cannot just walk up there and say this is what happened," said James.

Sergeant James explained how she reconstructs the scene of an accident.

"We have our measuring tape, we have our camera, and we have our spray," said James.

Every officer works the scene of a collision differently, but several major things are a must. Pictures must be taken, just in case the investigation takes several days.

Officers use orange spray to mark things like skid marks and the final resting place of the vehicles and in some cases the deceased.

But above all those tools, James said math is the most important tool when it comes to reconstructing the scene of an accident.

"You have to take all these measurements and convert them. So that you can actually go back and put the car in its original position of when it made contact," said James.

James said if one number doesn't add up, investigators have to re-take those measurements.

"Our training for our fatalities is actually state wide training. We all go to the criminal justice academy," said James.

James said as of now, State Highway Patrol assists Florence P.D. with any fatal car accidents, because that agency has better equipment to determine how those crashes happened.

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