New technology recreates crash scenes for Alabama investigators

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Vehicle accidents can raise many questions. And in many cases a lot of heartache. One earlier this year on Moffett Road, Ariel Jasper and her one-year-old son, Noah Brown, died.

Her mother said, “And there was a knock on the door … and I told my grandson, I say, take the door, this is your father, and he said no, grandma, it’s the police. When I saw the chaplain badge, I could only say: who is that? “

Investigating accidents, especially those involving one or more fatalities, is a priority for highly trained officials – especially to find out how and why it happened.

Alabama State Trooper Corporal Phillip Faulkner said, “To examine it and get a clear picture, you have to get into this scene. You have to take it personally. Because what we want is the answer to these two questions. “

And thanks to new technologies, their work has become a little easier.

“It’s laser scanning technology. Because it’s infrared technology, it can be used in extreme darkness or in places where there is virtually no light, ”said Russell Boynton, who works for FARO, the company that markets and sells the imaging equipment.

Brian Harvin of the State Bureau of Investigation added, “You can do calculations, momentum, skid marks and all of those things in the FARO zone software.”

Boynton said, “So when an officer scans the scene, the Faro instrument takes about a million measurements per second with an accuracy of about a millimeter per scan.”

In conjunction with advanced drones, the data collected by both will be downloaded into the FARO software. The result is a clear picture – a video replica of what happened in the accident. A clear three-dimensional replica that juries can see and understand.

“We now have the opportunity with this technology to virtually guide people and judges through a scene with virtual reality glasses,” said Boynton.

The Alabama State Troopers have been using the new FARO technology for about a year and a half. It’s a far cry from what they used to be – that took a lot of time.

Senior State Trooper Anna Peeples showed us this system.

“This is our total mapping station, our TOPCON. It’s what ALEA has been using for years, ”she said.

In this system, measurements for the reconstruction of accident scenes are carried out individually, which takes much more time. It also needs more people.

“At least two soldiers. Three soldiers are really what this would take, ”she said.

The investigation of an accident site can take up to several hours, while in many cases the traffic comes to a standstill.

The new technology cuts this time enormously and helps the officers to finally answer the questions – how and why.

Complete Faulkner added: “Because many interested parties are waiting for it. We respect that. But at the same time we have to become this voice, because this sacrifice cannot say his side. “