Road closures allow police to survey fatal crashes

Lafayette Police closed down two roads on Tuesday morning where fatal crashes have recently taken place.

The first road closure happened at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning when police partially blocked off I-10 westbound at Ambassador Caffery Parkway where an accident happened two weeks ago. The second closure happened at 1 PM on the 4200 block of Moss St. between acorn and Halifax streets where a fatal accident happened on February 17.

Lafayette Police SGT Robert McFarland led the follow-up investigation at both fatal crash sites earlier Tuesday.

“We like to come back to the scene. We have a survey team that’s with the city that’s out here and what we are trying to produce is a Nat scale diagram of the roadway and any of the evidence that may have been left at the scene .” said SGT McFarland.

When a crash happens late at night, investigating is difficult for police as far as photographing and surveying the scene accurately. Marking the scene at night and then coming back during the day is also important for safety.

“For safety reasons we reconvene during day time hours in order to lessen the chance of someone being injured, not only someone from the public but also our officers that are out there investigating the crash.” said CPL Paul Mouton.

Once the roads are blocked, the survey team pairs up with police, using a hand held rover with GPS signal. They are able to create a scale image of the crash site. Investigators create diagrams of the accidents to confirm positions of vehicles, roadway marks, skid marks and a 360 degree image of the scene.

“Trying to place everything where it was the night of the crash and kind of like taking a picture of that and putting it to scale. Then investigators can look at the totality of what they have based on what evidence they have to try to match it         together to find out what happened.” said CPL Mouton.

CPL Mouton says the Lafayette Police Department handles about 8,000 vehicular crashes a year in the city. Surveying of the crash scenes like those two happens after every fatality crash.


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