In the past couple weeks, Lubbock Police Department has responded to multiple accidents across town. When these incidents occur, their Crash Investigation Unit head out to the scene to figure out how it all happened.
So far in 2019, they have responded to 14 severe call outs, including eight fatalities. In 2018, they responded to 46 call outs, 20 of which were fatal.
While each investigation depends on the situation, Sargeant Tim Seeley, with LPD’s Crash Investigation Unit, said they ultimately follow the same protocol, and it starts with mapping out the scene.
“When we get to the scene, we will start talking to witnesses and gathering information from officers,” Seeley said. “We try to get everything marked at the time shortly after the crash happened…That gives us the opportunity to go back at a later time to look at the evidence.”
He said evidence collected includes surveillance camera footage, debris, measurements of skid marks, and witness statements.
Investigators typically respond to the scene both the time of the accident, and on a following day shortly after. Seeley said this both saves tax payer money, and provides them with more investigators to look at the evidence.
“We are still working on that crash another three to four weeks later,” he said.
Seeley said they take their time to determine what happened and if it is a criminal case.
“When you have a crash involving a death, to us in our unit, that is the same as if it is an intentional homicide. We still owe it to the victims to be able to determine what happened and make sure the truth comes out, and if it is criminal, make sure justice is served,” he said.