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Police Gathering Evidence against Man Charged in Fatal Accident

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Friday, January 7, 2011

Police in Springfield, Missouri recently executed two search warrants on a Missouri State University student as part of their investigation into a December car accident that killed another MSU student. One of the warrants was to collect the event data recorder from the driver’s car.

According to a recent story in the Springfield News-Leader, the accident took place on December 9. The accused student was driving his Nissan 350Z, a high-performance sports car, on St. Louis Street. Near National Avenue, the man lost control of the car and it launched into the air. The Nissan landed over the curb and struck a utility pole, then hit the victim, age 24, on the driver’s-side door as the victim walked on the sidewalk. The car hit another utility pole before finally stopping.

Police arrested the driver, who is also 24, and charged him with involuntary manslaughter. He is being held on $100,000 bond. His lawyer has requested a bond reduction, for which a hearing has been scheduled for January 14.

The other warrant the police executed was for the accused student’s medical records. The accused student had medications in his bloodstream after the accident, police said, which they wanted to check against his medical history.

Event data recorders, or EDRs, are electronic devises installed in vehicles that retain vehicle and restraint information from a car accident. Their primary function is to record how the vehicle’s safety and other features performed during the crash, though the information is sometimes used as evidence in criminal or civil cases.

According to the News-Leader article, EDRs first came on the market in the 1970s, and by 2005, nearly two-thirds of new cars had them installed. EDRs will be required for all new vehicles by 2013.

Source: Springfield News-Leader, “Evidence will help reconstruct car accident,” Kathryn Wall, January 6, 2011

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