Reconstructing accident scenes on Kentucky roadways

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Kentucky State Police Post 3 in Bowling Green said they worked more fatalities on roadways this past year than any other Kentucky State Police Post.

Trooper Daniel Priddy, who works full time as an accident reconstructionist said Post 3 worked 22 fatalities, according to last year's stats.

Those numbers just come from state police, they do not include roadway fatality numbers from police departments or sheriffs' offices.

Trooper Priddy said he believes the number of wrecks are due to several factors, including distracted driving, and the fact that our local post is surrounded by several major roadways like the Cumberland and Natcher Parkways and I-65.

"The need for somebody that can come out and do reconstructions and the number that we have, it's a full-time job or it takes multiple people to do it," said Trooper Priddy.

KSP troopers said it's rare to have a full time reconstructionist on staff, so Post 3 is lucky to have someone who can dedicate their time solely on figuring out why an accident happened.

"Right now we're trying to stay as advanced as we can with technology. We're using drones, 3-D scanners, laser scanners," said Trooper Priddy.

When he gets called out to a scene, he said it usually involves a fatality or a situation where criminal charges are possible.

"We'll mark all the evidence we can find, gouges and scrapes and tire marks," he explained.

He uses computer programs to reconstruct accident scenes to scale.

"I mean it is rewarding because I feel like I'm giving a voice to those who can't speak," he said.

As much as troopers want to be able to tell an accurate story and create a report detailing exactly what happened in a crash, their biggest goal is to keep people safe before accidents happen.

"There's more texting and driving, seatbelts are extremely important, and speed. Those three things, if people will wear their seatbelts, control their speed, and just pay attention," added Trooper Priddy.

Trooper Priddy said it typically takes about six months, depending on the crash, for reconstructions to be completed.

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