A.I.U. (Accident Investigation Unit)
The Accident Investigation Unit was created by the Sheriff’s Office to respond to serious injury and fatal motor vehicle accidents. Since its inception, the unit has responded to hundreds of accident scenes. The goal of the unit is to determine the cause of an accident through investigation and reconstruction. The unit members search for evidence at the scene of an accident and utilize numerous accident reconstruction techniques in their investigation. The completed reconstruction report is used to determine if Vehicle and Traffic or Penal law charges should be pursued. The testimony of the team members and the reconstruction report has been instrumental in numerous criminal cases.
AIU Members use many tools to assist them in the investigation, including:
• FARO Focus X 330 Laser Scanner
• Nikon Total Station – electronic measuring device
• FARO Reality – scene diagramming software
• BOSCH Crash Data Retrieval software - vehicle “Event Data Recorder“ download
• CELLEBRITE - Cellular Phone software download/retrieval of cellular phone use
• VC2000 – accelerometer- tests for friction available on a surface and G force
• Vehicle specifications software
The team is currently comprised of members of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. The members must undergo a minimum of four weeks of training in Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Accident Investigation. Several of the members have additional Accident Reconstruction training which certifies them as experts and they can then testify as expert witnesses. The training is ongoing and the members frequently enhance their skills with additional schooling.