Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North
Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North

Drone technology part of fatal crash scene investigation

A CRITICAL part of the response to serious roads accidents is the collection of data for investigative purposes.

On the morning of Saturday, February 22, the Summerland Way was closed for several hours following a tragic head-on collision between a Hyundai sedan and an empty B-double milk truck.

Both occupants of the sedan - two French men - died on impact.

 

Volunteers from the Dilkoon Rural Fire Service were among the emergency services personnel who attended a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North
Volunteers from the Dilkoon Rural Fire Service were among the emergency services personnel who attended a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North

 

 

A NSW Police Rescue unit from Lismore handled the extraction of the bodies with assistance from volunteers including Grafton SES and Dilkoon Rural Fire Service.

"We use Police Rescue to assist with body retrieval. The volunteers from SES and RFS do sensational work," Coffs/Clarence Police District duty officer Acting Inspector Darren Williams said.

"If we can limit exposure to these scenes, because they are pretty gruesome, we use our own resources where possible."

 

Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North
Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North

 

The unit also extensively photographed the scene including the use of drone technology.

"We're using the drones to assist us to give us an overall view of the accident scene so it can be shown to the coroner," A/Insp Williams said.

"We use drones for other instances as well such as murder scenes if we can get a drone in there.

 

Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North
Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North

 

"It's just to get a better inference of everything. You can use maps and satellite images, but a drone will give greater depth to the coroner of what's actually occured."

As well as the latest in drone technology, some trusty old methods to detail the scene of an investigation are irreplacable.

 

A crime scene investigation was carried out by police at the scene of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North
A crime scene investigation was carried out by police at the scene of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North

 

"Police will use all their investigative skills," A/Insp Williams said.

"There's the scientific guy with the old measuring wheel to measure it all out to give distances to the coroner and create a better picture."

 

Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North
Police deployed a drone to photograph the scene for investigative purposes of a double fatality on the Summerland Way at Dilkoon north of Grafton on Saturday morning, 22nd February, 2020. Photo: Bill North

 

It was a horror weekend on Coffs-Clarence roads with another fatal crash at Bucca on Sunday morning. About 9.45am emergency services were called to Bucca Road, near Hallgaths Road following reports a car hit a tree.

A 52-year-old man was removed from the vehicle and died at the scene.

Inquiries are continuing by officers from Coffs/Clarence Police Area Command and would like to speak with anyone who may have dashcam footage or who witnessed the crash to come forward.

Police will prepare a report for the information of the coroner.



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