The Investigation of Fatal Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Collisions

The Investigation of Fatal Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Collisions

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The Investigation of Fatal Pedestrian
Hit-and-Run Collisions

by Joseph N. Cofone

This article serves as a practical guide to investigating pedestrian hit-and-run collisions. Mr. Cofone begins by giving practical reasons for the importance of securing and controlling the scene of a crash from the earliest possible moment. He also addresses the types of evidence to expect on the roadway, how to collect and preserve it and what the evidence can mean to the investigation.

As the article continues, he explains how an autopsy of the victim can aid in determining the cause of the collision and how a forensic examination of the victim’s clothing can be instrumental in revealing a description of the striking vehicle. And once a determination has been made as to the type of vehicle that was involved, the author outlines eleven methods that can be employed to search for that vehicle.

The Investigation of Fatal Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Collisions is not intended as a manual for reconstructing a crash. Rather, it addresses specific differences and special considerations that must be given to hit-and-run collisions that involve pedestrians. It also provides information on post-arrest vehicle examination and the legal considerations that should be met prior to a physical examination of the suspected vehicle.

The manual includes the following topics:

  • The At-Scene Investigation
    • Securing and Controlling the Scene
    • Interviews
    • Scene Search
  • The Follow-up Investigation
    • The Autopsy
    • Forensic Examination
  • Vehicle Searching Methods
    • Radio Broadcasts
    • Press Conferences
    • Canvassing
    • Surveillance
    • Data Base Search

Joseph N. Cofone is a sergeant with the Fatal Accident Investigation Unit at the Bergen County New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office. In addition to the awards he has received in police traffic safety and crash investigation and reconstruction, he is a founding member of the New Jersey Association of Accident Reconstructionists.

Specifications: 24 pages; 8½”x11”; saddle stitched; Publisher: IPTM (1995)