Up close with LPD's Accident Investigation Division - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Up close with LPD's Accident Investigation Division

Accident Investigators mapping out a crash site at 82nd and Avenue U (source: KCBD video) Accident Investigators mapping out a crash site at 82nd and Avenue U (source: KCBD video)
Left over debris at 82nd and Avenue U from Monday evening's crash (source: KCBD video) Left over debris at 82nd and Avenue U from Monday evening's crash (source: KCBD video)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Wednesday morning, the Lubbock Police Department closed off the intersection of 82nd and Avenue U for a couple of hours to continue investigating Monday night's crash which sent six people to the hospital, one with serious injuries.

The Accident Investigation Unit was on scene to map out that crash site.

Detective Cecil Garcia with the Accident Investigation Division says this unit is called out to deadly or potentially fatal accidents.

At the time of an accident, they will mark all of the spots where they see evidence, like skid marks or debris.

And if necessary, they follow up with something like what they did this morning.

Detective Garcia says they are trained in accident reconstruction, which means they can essentially re-create and map out a crash site with advanced technology.

"There's a laser that comes out of that total station. It bounces off the prism, and that's how we get points as we go along through the curb lines and marking things in the actual street," Detective Garcia said.

Through this process, investigators can create a scale diagram of the crash scene.

"We have a program that's called a crash designer that all of this data we're collecting now gets downloaded into that program and will create the diagram we've been referring to," Detective Garcia said.

The information collected includes vehicle weight, speed, brake efficiency and much more.

But why is it necessary to create this scale diagram?

Detective Garcia says this is crucial in case criminal charges are pursued.

It lets a jury "see" the scene of a crash.

"An accident is really a civil matter. There is no criminality to an accident. But whenever there is somebody who could lose their life, we have to be able to say hey we looked at it, it was just an accident and there was no more to it, or there is some criminal aspect to it. We prove that by coming out here and investigating," Detective Garcia said.

He says this process can also provide closure for the families of the victim, and knowing that gives this difficult job a bigger meaning.

"Having to see somebody who has lost their life in an accident, it's never easy, but just being able to come out and do the investigation and sometimes pursue criminal charges on somebody who was negligent - it gives you a good feeling that the work we do is paying off and people are being held accountable when they are at fault for these type of accidents," Detective Garcia said.

Lubbock Police say the AI Unit was called out to 45 crash scenes in 2016, and has been called out to around 17 in 2017 so far.

Not all of those were fatal accidents.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly