When police investigators tried to figure out what caused a multivehicle crash that killed an elderly woman in Morton, Ill., in July, they looked to the sky for help.
Like a growing number of police agencies throughout the country, the sheriff’s office in Tazewell County relied on a drone to quickly take photographs of the scene from on high to help investigators reconstruct the crash.
“It’s about a hundred times more detailed than what we could do with people taking the measurements,” Chief Deputy Jeff Lower said. “And it means that there’s much less time for the road to be closed and traffic to be backed up.”
For decades, police investigators at crash scenes used chalk marks, tape measures and roller wheels to record measurements and skid marks to help them assess what happened. More recently, many have used a laser-scanning tool to map the scene. But often those measurements can take