Incredible technology helps police recreate potential crime scenes, fatal crashes

SOUTHERN OREGON, —A lot of work, and some pretty incredible technology goes into the reconstruction of serious traffic accidents. We’re told pedestrians vs vehicle cases are very unique, requiring some close examination of the roadway, to help explain how a collision took place.

That’s where Faro Technologies steps in, to assist law enforcement to document and analyze crime, crashes, and even fire scenes. As we saw in this week’s fatal pedestrian crash, police often block off the roads and even use spray paint to mark up the intersection.

What they’re trying to do, is re-create the scene. Technology plays a big part in their ability to do that. Russel Boynton has been a crash re-constructionist for around 40 years, working for Faro for the last 6 years.

“We’re all over the world, we have customers all over the world, its great technology, and its really only beginning to catch on,” said Boynton.

The Florida company sells its tech to law enforcement, fire,  investigators, medical examiners, insurance companies, and others across the country.

“Some of our major customers are the US Military, Army Marine Corps, NCIS, FBI, US Forestry Service, San Bernadino Sheriff’s Office, and Cal Fire,” said Boynton.

Here in the Rogue Valley, the STAR team which is made up of people from both the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and Medford Police, use Faro tech as well. They work to create re-enactments of the crash, with laser scanning technology, that can bring the officer back to the moment of the incident.

“The facts are the facts, and that’s how you determine where a crime was involved, or a crime occurred or if there’s criminal negligence, or if truly it was an accident,” Sgt. Don Lane with the Medford Police Department shared with us us in a past interview.

In the past, Boynton says documenting crash scenes was done through pulling tapes in the field to take measurements of the evidence. Now, in as little as one minute, Faro’s focus scanner takes around 976,000 measurements per second, painting the original scene with infrared light.

“Having accurate data, accurate distances and locations from one object to another is really crucial in the accuracy of a final analysis in a reconstruction case,” said Boyton.

Faro doesn’t just assist in crashes, it also can be used to conduct analysis of a crime scene. It can determine things like where a gunshot came from, and the point of origin where a victim was hit.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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