Trooper Dan Yingling has been with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for seven years now and he's excited about the new addition of a drone to their crash team. "You know, I've been out on some crash scenes where we can't necessarily shut the roadway down completely and when you're trying to move traffic off of one lane into another, sometimes people get confused and you end up having to try to play frogger a little bit just to stay away from the cars," explained Trooper Yingling. Safety is just one of the advantages of the new technology. "It's a very detailed, gives a very detailed photographic evidence of what happened," stated Sergeant John Lueckenhoff. The drone costs a little over $6,000, but investing in this technology now is saving the troop time. "Instead of having to get out into the roadways to plot each individual point, we can fly the drone over or beside the road way and then we can take multiple pictures and we stitch all those pictures together with some computer software and it creates a 3-D model for us," said Yingling. And that means that a crash like this that may take over an hour to process traditionally can be completed in a 16 minute flight time with the drone. "When you consider the officer's safety and the actual shortage of highway closures, ultimately, this is making it safer for everybody," stated Lueckenhoff. This was the first time Troop D used the drone to cover a crash scene and while the weather conditions have to be right for the equipment to be used, Lueckenhoff sees a lot of promise in the technology.
To view video, go to: http://www.fox14tv.com/clip/14477388/drone-crash-investigation-9-7-9