A two-vehicle, frontal collision occurred on a rural highway in Coos County, Oregon and resulted in the fatality of one of the passengers in vehicle one, a new Toyota Tundra pickup.
A two-vehicle, frontal collision occurred on a rural highway in Coos County
ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS Read Case Study 24-1 on pages 288-9 of the text. If this scenario did not include witness descriptions, what forensic evidence would identify the driver of the truck as the survivor rather than the deceased in the accident? Discuss how you would think through this consideration. This is a formal paper presenting the case and your report. I Have attached the RUBRIC and the TEXTBOOK where the exact case above can be found. Also please use headings throughout paper. Thank you for your help.
CASE STUDY 24-1
Case Study 24-1
A two-vehicle, frontal collision occurred on a rural highway in Coos County, Oregon and resulted in the fatality of one of the passengers in vehicle one, a new Toyota Tundra pickup. The occupants were two friends, A.C. and L.Y., who were driving to the coast to spend the day, stopping on the way at the river for a swim and a few beers. Back on the road, with L.Y. driving, the vehicle was witnessed to be traveling at a high rate of speed, recklessly passing other vehicles.
As they emerged from a long, straight stretch of a two-lane highway into a sweeping “S” curve marked with a double yellow line, L.Y. lost control of the vehicle, sliding into the oncoming traffic and began rolling over, impacting vehi- cle two, a Ford van containing two occupants (Fig. 24-8).
POST-COLLISION SCENE DETAILS Vehicle one, the Toyota pickup, rested upside down in the middle of the eastbound lane, facing north.
It had extensive damage to the entire vehicle and the cab was com- pletely crushed. The passenger compartment was not visible due to the intrusion of the roof. The driver’s compartment was open, and the door had been removed with the use of Hurst Tools (“jaws-of-life” spread- ers and cutters).
Vehicle extrication was provided by the firefighters and emergency medical professionals. The air bag had deployed, and it appeared the seat belt had been in use. The left front tire and wheel were lying in a field off the south shoulder, approximately 75 feet from the vehicle. The Ford van rested facing east, off the north shoulder of the highway with intrusion into the front grill, hood, and roof.
Occupants: Details Of Injuries. The body of A.C., the passenger in the pickup, was located in the eastbound lane, halfway between the two vehicles, clothed in a black nylon swimsuit, a green T-shirt, and white ankle-high socks. Visible injuries included a shoulder belt abra- sion across the upper chest, approximately 8 inches in length, higher on the right side. A large abrasion across the lower abdomen, slightly wider on the right side, was consistent with a lap belt restraint sliding upward upon impact.
Fabric transfer from the green T-shirt was visible within the abrasion. A linear abrasion and contusion was noted over A.C.’s right shoulder with numerous other abrasions, contusions and areas of road rash over the entire body. A large portion of windshield was lying on his chest, partially covering his face. The nares had been completely avulsed, exposing the nasal septum. A large laceration was noted over the occipital area.
The forensic nurse examiner (FNE) was on the scene approximately 2 hours before proceeding to the hospital.
She was informed that L. Y., the driver of the pickup was in surgery for repair of a dislocated right knee, and a fractured right tibia and fibula. Hospital staff reported his blood alcohol level was .09% (90 mg/dL). The FNE contacted and inter- viewed the nurse in charge of L.Y.’s care who recounted the injuries. In addition to numerous lacerations, there were extensive injuries of the right leg, including the lower leg fractures and a knee dislocation.
The nurse also described facial cuts, a right elbow laceration, and abra- sions to the left knee, right cheek, and chin. According to this nurse, a 3-inch-wide abrasion with contusion was noted over the right flank area extending around the hip and also periumbilical area. This contusion appeared to be spreading and worsening since admission. This patient was air-lifted shortly after midnight to a trauma center in Portland for specialized care for his severely injured right leg.
The driver of vehicle two, the Ford van, sustained a concussion, and exhibited contusions, and abrasions as well as symptoms of an existing cervical spine problem which had been aggravated by the collision. The FNE was informed that the child passenger who had sustained severe facial injuries and a closed head injury had also been transferred to the trauma center in Portland. The FNE then proceeded to the funeral home to perform a secondary examination and to photograph A.C.’s body. She also collected blood, vitreous humor, and urine, as well as buccal swabs and head hair standards.
Follow-up. The day following the crash, the FNE met with Oregon State Police at the wrecking yard where the Toyota pickup was secured.
Closer examination revealed extensive damage to the entire vehicle. The passenger side of vehicle had completely collapsed, with the pas- senger seat extending out the small rear window where the roof had folded over. The passenger air bag had deployed, and the seat belt had been torn and ripped apart.
This seat belt also contained fiber trans- fer from the decedent’s green T-shirt. Green fibers were removed and collected from the passenger doorframe. There was little to no space available on the passenger side, and no blood was noted. The intrusion into the driver’s compartment came from the passenger side. There were blood smears and black hair on the ceiling of the driver compart- ment. A sample of black hair was collected and tape lifts were pulled off the steering wheel and air bag.
The Ford van was later located and examined. There was extensive damage to upper portion of the grill, near the hood, and considerable damage to the front bumper. Also, evidence that the pickup had rolled onto the top of the van and slid off the rear passenger side roof. There was intrusion of the roof into the front passenger seat, as well as from the A-pillar. Little damage or intrusion into the driver’s compartment existed.
Autopsy Findings. An autopsy was performed on the decedent.
The results indicated A.C. had multiple rib fractures, a complete mid- cervical spine transection, a right clavicle fracture, multiple bilateral lower extremity fractures, avulsion of the esophagus and the trachea, laceration and pulpifaction of the liver and spleen, bilateral hemithoraces, and multiple lacerations and abrasions to the face, body, and extremities.
Survivor Outcomes. Within two weeks, the FNE received and reviewed the medical records of the crash survivors. L.Y. had suf- fered severe right lower leg fractures and a right knee dislocation that resulted in occlusion of the popliteal artery.
This injury required numer- ous surgical repairs. The FNE also reviewed digital photographs of L.Y. taken after his admission to the trauma center in Portland. These pho- tos revealed a large open wound over his right lower leg, as well as sur- gical incisions of the knee.
There were linear abrasions over the lateral left elbow which had resulted from the shoulder restraint as it slipped off the shoulder during the rollover. A circular abrasion was noted on the right cheek, approximately 2 cm by 1 cm, and there appeared to be a friction burn. An abrasion due to the lap belt restraint was noted over the lower abdomen and right hip, extending to his posterior hip.
According to medical records, injuries involving the driver of vehicle two included a concussion; neck, right shoulder, and arm pain; abra- sions to the left temple and left upper eyebrow; and multiple small lacerations to the right arm, as well as bilateral pulmonary contusions. Injuries to the female child passenger of the van included a temporal skull fracture, facial fractures and lacerations, and a left compressed facial nerve with paralysis, requiring surgical repair.
SUMMARY. The impact to the second vehicle, the Ford van, occurred while the Toyota pickup was rolling and airborne.
This is evidenced by the lack of damage to the front bumper of the van, as well as blood on the hood and outer windshield frame, most likely deposited by A.C., the passenger in the pickup.
The female child on the front passenger seat of the van was thrust forward toward the direction of impact. Her chest, face, and head made contact with the intruding roof or A-pillar as well as with the pickup as it impacted the windshield, climbed onto the roof and slid down the passenger side of the vehicle. Further, the driver of the van made little contact with the interior of the vehicle; her injuries and complaints were from the severe motion of impact.
The deceased passenger in the pickup had green-tinged abrasions on his chest and abdomen consistent with National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333; 404-639-3311 www.cdc.gov. “NIOSH Alert: Preventing Worker Injuries and Deaths from TrafficRelated Motor Vehicle Crashes.” DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 98–142, is available from the NIOSH toll-free information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674). Copies also available on the NIOSH Home Pagenorhmpg.htmlwww.cdc.gov/niosh. Further information on NIOSH research is also available from the toll-free number and on the home page.