Forensics - Hit and Run Accident

Topics: Forensic science, Death, Forensic pathology Pages: 6 (1827 words) Published: December 9, 2012
The forensic investigation of any death is a vital and important process that involves different exporters to find the truth through scientific evidence. A particular investigation that we will be examining is the death of a pedestrian from a ‘hit and run’ accident. Although car accidents are not a major cause of death, they are quite a lot of cases and they are always very tragic. This investigation will investigate a deliberate ‘hit and run’ where the pedestrian experienced tertiary impact, causing many fatal injuries and then was run-over by the driver.

The first rule of any locus is to preserve it and therefore it quite strictly off bounds to anyone except those that are required to go and inspect the death. Therefore the first police officer(s) at the locus has the responsibility for initiating scene preservation procedures [Saferstein, 2001]. This includes setting up road closures, establishing cordons, initiating scene logs and in some cases noting environmental points as evidence can be compromised due to change of weather conditions. They also, whenever possible, gathers information from witnesses, emergency personnel, and bystanders and try to get a description of what happened or anyone saw the individual or vehicle that was responsible. This information is important for different reasons. It helps to establish the outer perimeter of the scene, and it assists in determining the series of events that may have occurred.

Various other expertises all work at the locus as well such as the pathologist, the Prosecutor Fiscal, photographer, the toxicologist and the crime scene investigator, who is the main person that decides who gets to go into a scene and in some cases establishes an entry and exit path for the period of the scene examination [Saferstein, 2001]. Everything must be noted all the experts have a vital role of recording all the procedures that are done and documentation for every expert is required to be competed for future reference that could help the case.

The Prosecutor Fiscal is a local representative of the Lord Advocate and there responsibility is to investigate and prosecute crime, including all sudden unexpected deaths and natural deaths - In this case a car accident. The Prosecutor Fiscal then comes to a judgment whether the death is natural or perhaps suspicious. If the death is suspicious, as in our case then a full investigation is undertaken where a pathologist, toxicologist, forensic scientist and any other expertise will all be asked to contribute their skills in specific areas.

As for the role of the forensic scientist is twofold: to analyze physical evidence found on a victim on the scene of a crime and compare it to evidence found on a suspect and to provide expert testimony in a court An extensive search of the locus is carried out to find any evidence such as tire traces, broken glass and paint smears are searched for.

When vehicles are painted more than one layer is painted onto the body's surface - a primer, a filler, a coat, and then a topcoat - and if a car scratches on a certain object that paint can be deposited on that object. Therefore paint smears left from the car smashing or scrapping against certain objects on the road, for example lamp post or barriers can be used to help determine some of the properties of the vehicle that caused the accident. The international forensic automotive paint data query database (PDQ) can then be used to determine the make and model of the vehicle based upon the paint trace's chemical arid colour information [Royal Canadian Mounted Police (2005)]. Photographing the scene and all the physical evidence is conducted after the initial search has been conducted, the physical evidence is identified. Different photography techniques such as painting with flash and oblique flash techniques are employed depending on the environment around [Blizter 2002)]. Time exposure photography and painting with flash are techniques that can be...
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