CANTON Ohio, – Investigators with Canton’s Multi-jurisdictional Metro Accident Reconstruction Team continue to complete reports for nearly 30 crashes that occurred over a seven-hour period early Thursday, including a fatal chain-reaction crash on Interstate Route 30.
Barry Bailey Sr, 57, of Paris Township died after losing control of his car on the icy road and, according to the Stark County Coroner, was ejected from his car.
The reconstruction team is relying on detailed photographs and measurements after receiving nearly $100-thousand worth of high tech equipment from a state grant to complete their reports.
The grant provided laser measuring devices, similar to those used by surveyors, in addition to digital cameras and high tech computers capable of generating extremely detailed 2D renderings of crash scenes.
“And when they produce a reconstruction report they are an expert report and they can take us several weeks to finish but when they are done they are the most accurate report that anyone has ever seen,” said Sgt. Steven Swank.
And although the team’s new equipment gives them the ability to do their job better and more accurately than ever before, the one thing the grant could not provide was a drone, like oneFOX 8 used on Thursday, that could give them a bird’s eye view of the scene.
On Friday, FOX 8 agreed to work along with investigators, providing them Drone Fox video of the crash scene.
“In this case, we weren’t able to catch the entire scene in one photograph that would be close up were with an aerial view we could do that,” said Swank.
“it shows us an angle that we didn’t have available to us, so our photos won’t show that but obviously when you are looking down on something it gives you sometimes a more accurate view of where things were placed,”
Swank explained that every fatal crash investigation has to be handled in the same way as a homicide investigation because of the seriousness of the crash.
“Because we have a potential homicide and a fatality we have to treat it like a homicide scene so we need every bit of evidence that we can possibly collect so we can find the truth because that is what we are ultimately looking for,” said Swank.
Police tell FOX 8 there is no such thing as too much information in such cases.
“We can take your drone photos and we can put that in with ours, compare it to our drawings and make sure that we have shown that those drawings are accurate,” said Swank.
Authorities say scenes like the one on Rt. 30 Thursday are typically not one, but several accidents back-to-back that happen as a result of people reacting to a crash in front of them.
To make certain the investigation is as accurate as possible they typically take several weeks to complete.
Investigators hoping to someday be able to add a drone to their team’s inventory.
“As you can see your drone can get relatively close and give us a really good view of what actually happened, where everything ended up in final rest. This gives us a view that we don’t normally have,” said Swank.