Kentucky Law Officials Working Together On Vehicular Homicide Cases

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "At least on a monthly or weekly basis sometimes, there are DUI crashes in Kentucky that do result in criminal charges being filed," said Kentucky State Trooper, Hunter Smith.

One in five Kentucky highway deaths are in crashes involving alcohol. It's not the numbers that have the attention of prosecutors and law enforcement across the state, it's the fact that there's a problem at all.

"Anytime you lose someone needlessly in a collision on the highway it's a problem. Whether it's one person or several hundred people," said Kentucky Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, Bob Stokes.

Prosecutors from Tennessee and the Bluegrass State are spending the next couple of days in Bowling Green to meet with law enforcement to better communicate on cases where a vehicle is used to kill someone.

Part of the weekly training included staged collisions with cars smashing into each other and a car running through a dummy. The attention grabbing video of those demonstrations was shot by Deputy Scott Conrad of the Grant County Sheriff's Office. For a look, click on the video above.

"We kind of speak a different language when it comes to some of the terminology and technology we use. Sometimes the attorneys aren't familiar with it. This is just a way to get everybody in the same room and on the same page," added Trooper Smith.

The number of highway fatalities in the Commonwealth actually went down in 2013. That doesn't mean anything is being taken any lighter with the law.

"If we're thinking of it as a legitimate criminal act, then it's not longer an accident, it's actually a crash. We're just hear to resolve those types of problems that have existed in the past and just try and do better at it," added Stokes.

Events like the vehicular homicide training may not stop drunk drivers from taking other innocent lives, but it will make help make sure the entire process is done right, from the crash scene to the gavel.

The training is being funded by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, along with grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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