Every little bit of a car crash can tell a story if a police officer knows how to read it.
It's why this week more than a dozen Thunder Bay Police Service and OPP officers are taking part in a scene-level collision investigation course this week. Collision Reconstructionist Const. Gordon Snyder said officers arriving on the scene of a crash only see the aftermath.
They have to work backward, a process that can take hours and shut down roads depending on the severity, to figure out what went wrong.
"We have to reverse that back and reconstruct what happened to be able to tell a story," he said.
Thursday had the officer at a local towing company looking over vehicles that had been in collisions. They were busy measuring damage and investigating to learn how to collect evidence. Const. Casey Vucko said he's learning the process is part art and part science.
He wanted to get involved in order to expand his knowledge.
"Any experience I can get outside of basic training is great," he said. "Every bit of training helps."
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It can also be a bit fun. Part of the course had them on an airport runway as Snyder drove a car at high speeds before slamming on the brakes. The skid marks left on the tarmac are a great way to learn how fast a car was travelling if an officer knows what to look for Vucko said.
"Evidence goes away pretty quickly," he said. "That's what we've learned in this course."
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