Orlando officers studying staged crashes

It only takes seconds for two cars to collide, but it takes days, sometimes weeks or months to reconstruct how the crash happened. And that process often leaves investigators with questions and gaps in the data.

“After a crash happens, it’s honestly mayhem,” said Orlando Police Traffic Homicide Detective Adam Gruler, “We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Detective Gruler and other investigators with the OPD Traffic Homicide Unit teamed up with the Wrex Crew, a worldwide accident reconstruction conference made up of law enforcement investigators, engineers, even university professors. The group spent Tuesday intentionally crashing tractor trailers, cars, and trucks to gain insight into how traffic accidents occur.

Wrex 2016 conducted 15 crashes Tuesday near the Orlando International Airport. All the vehicles were outfitted with censors, cameras, and accelerometers to measure speeds ranging from 50-80mph.

“Training like this allows us to actually observe the crash in process and take data away and understand what happens during the crash. From there we’re able to reconstruct the crash,” Gruler said.  He added, the information helps investigators to answer a grieving family’s questions, prosecute criminal cases or improve the safety of vehicles and roadway designs.