Officers trained with mock auto crash

POSTED: 5:41 PM Sep 17 2013

If you respond to a car accident, what's the first question you ask? What happened, or how did it happen and whose fault was it?

Those questions are answered by accident reconstruction teams with the local and state authorities.

Police officers from across Virginia got a first-hand chance to answer those questions after a staged crash in the back parking lot of Crabtree Buick in Bristol.

It was time for them to put into practice their collision reconstruction skills learned at the criminal justice training center in Bristol.

Reconstruction expert Lenny Simpson helped put on the workshop. "They've been in class for a week and a half learning all the concepts and the principles, doing all the numbers. This [exercise] says, now let's see if you can apply it. Not only can they apply it, does it validate the formulas they've been taught, and it will," he told us.

Simpson tells us black boxes are now being installed in vehicles to make the job easier, but instructors say nothing replaces the human factor in an investigation.