Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
Wisconsin State Patrol Technical Reconstruction Unit (TRU) offers
support to law enforcement agencies investigating traffic accidents
around the state. As the agency’s training institution, the
Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy often hosts the training,
which is open to law enforcement agencies from throughout the state.
A damaged headlamp gives
information to personnel attempting to reconstruct an accident
Duane Meyers, the Wisconsin State Patrol supervisor of the TRU, said
TRU personnel dedicate most of their time to reconstructing crashes
and are recognized as the experts in the field.
service provides a fair, impartial depiction of what happened during a
traffic accident and potentially helps save the state a lot of money
in litigation costs, he said.
investigate crashes and document and preserve evidence," Meyers
said. "We can provide expert testimony at a trial and reconstruct
an accident scene to help determine how an incident occurred."
personnel can determine such factors as how fast a vehicle was going,
where the vehicle was coming from, if brakes were used, etc., he said.
contributing factors may include drinking, speeding, inattentive
driving because of cell phone use, etc.
is a scientific process that uses physics to solve a problem, he said.
The tools of the investigation include scaled drawings or
three-dimensional computer-program modeling, and using forensic
mapping strategies and tactics.
of the investigation are used to prioritize funding, he said.
first priority is to help determine accountability for accidents.
can help us determine why you have a high incidence of crashes in
certain areas," Meyers said. "We can funnel federal monies
to agencies to help fix these problems."
second priority is to help reduce court costs, especially in cases
that may lead to civil litigation or criminal prosecution.
us, each side would have to put forth its own theory of what
happened," he said. "The truth might never be known."
personnel can act as expert witnesses to help establish
accountability. Meyers said if this is known participants and their
insurance companies are more inclined to settle matters quicker.
can cut down costs for seating jurors, paying court employees, etc.,
resolutions of cases can save taxpayer dollars.
TRU also brings uniform procedures, training and equipment to an
investigation to produce a professional product.
members also win because they know motorists will be held
accountable," he said. "This makes it more likely that
drivers will face consequences for their actions, such as drunk
driving, and are less likely to get away with an incident."
is certified by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Training and
Standards Bureau. He teaches crash-related programs at the Wisconsin
State Patrol Academy, area technical colleges and other educational
facilities in the Midwest to other State Patrol personnel and other
law enforcement personnel involved in accident reconstruction.