October 19, 2011
A new piece in The Roanoke Times takes an extensive look at how Roanoke officers are trained to make heads or tails of an automobile accident’s aftermath.
In a staged wreck on Tuesday, 25 police officers from central and Southwest Virginia witnessed a crash test in which a car speeds down a hill into a crash test dummy that’s on foot. The “accident” propelled the dummy 64 feet and left 66 feed of skid marks, though the dummy’s hat fell in nearly the same place he’d been standing at time of impact.
“In situations like this one, you’ve got at least one person who died or was severely injured, so you can’t interview everyone who was involved,” said Blacksburg police Detective Michael Czernicki. “You’re trying to figure out as much as you can about what happened based on the evidence.”
The region is unique in its extensive training of officers by the Blue Ridge Regional Crash Team.
“You don’t need a person in a department who knows it all,” said Sgt. Tim Wyatt, who heads the Roanoke County police patrol division. “When you have a team like this, you can have 10 people who know a lot.”