Local crash investigators going back to school - Tucson News Now

Local crash investigators going back to school

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It was a classroom like no other for local crash scene investigators. They turned a street in Oro Valley into a motorcycle course.

Oro Valley Police teamed up with Northwestern University to host the advanced accident reconstruction class. Northwestern has one of the oldest public safety programs and many officers travel to the school for training.This week the course is being taught in Oro Valley, with officers and engineers from around the Tucson area.

"This course helps them identify what were some of the factors that caused the vehicle to do what it did and in turn helps us become better investigators," said Lt. Chris Olson from Oro Valley Police.

The day began with motorcycle speed and brake testing. The officer riding the motorcycle would go between 25 and 45 mph. He would hit the brakes using the anti lock braking system and then again without ABS. The students had the task of trying to figure out at what speed the bike was going.

The other part of the training was understanding road conditions during the time of a motorcycle accident. The officers would toss several different motorcycles, at several different speeds out of the back of a truck. Some slid and some even flipped over a couple of times.

"If a motorcycle slides a great deal of distance it probably had a lower coefficient of friction, meaning it was probably on ice or a smother surface," said Lt. Olson.

If the students pass the final test. They're given a certificate, acknowledging they passed this advanced reconstruction course.

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