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Crash investigation - MCSD Unit 560 - black box? video cam?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Emergency Services Vehicles

Crash investigation - MCSD Unit 560 - black box? video cam?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
July 17, 2013

The crash on Dean Street involving squad car 560 of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department earlier this week was investigated by the Woodstock Police Department, since it was in their jurisdiction.

What will it conclude was the cause? Deer avoidance?

If so, does the evidence at the scene support that conclusion?

Normally, at a crash scene spray paint is used to mark where a vehicle left the roadway and where it ended up. That was done on Davis Road, when MCSD investigated the crash on July 1, 2012, that claimed two lives.

But it wasn't done in this investigation involving a County police vehicle. Did the squad car drift off the roadway about 39 yards south of the 35MPH speed limit sign? Did it travel up the shoulder and then take out the speed limit sign and post? Or did it leave the roadway suddenly (to avoid a deer) but then continue up the shoulder after running over the sign? How did parts end up so far north of the sign?

Does the squad car have a "black box"? Will it reveal speed and any turning movements? Brake application? Impact? What does a "black box" in a squad car record?

Did the driver activate the emergency lights immediately after impact? If so, any in-car video camera might have saved the previous 30-60 seconds of the car's movement. Can a deer be seen in the headlights of the car? Will Woodstock PD view that video, or will the accident investigation team at MCSD study it?

The combination of point/time-of-impact, in-car video, black box and then Department radio traffic or cell phone usage ought to tell the whole story.

How thorough will the Woodstock PD and the MCSD crash investigations be?

What's the purpose of a thorough investigation? To get at not only the cause of this crash but to use the information as a training tool for all deputies.

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