Drone video used to help Erie County Sheriff's Office investigate Turnpike pile up

Posted at 4:52 PM, Aug 18, 2016

Video from a drone is helping authorities investigate Sunday’s pile up on the Ohio Turnpike.

The drone was used by the Erie County Sheriff's Office to fly over the violent 10-car crash that killed a 14-year-old girl. 

Authorities usually just take pictures from the ground to investigate crashes. Now, Erie County can get a view from above.


The drone is another tool that helps investigators determine how the crash happened.

"When you are up, it is much easier to see a long line of skid marks," said John Adams with the Erie County Sheriff's Office. "So it's much easier for them to have a wide view, and then they can zoom in, and then for the reconstructionists, for the accident scene, we were able to allow them to tell us what to do—where to go, pictures to take, so they can do the reconstruction later on."

Adams said their drones could also be used for search and rescue.

"If you have a child that gets lost in a cornfield, or an elderly person, you can put a drone up in the air, it can go low, it can go slow, and you can pick somebody out in an area, we can find them much quicker,” Adams said.

Right now they're mostly using drones to investigate crashes, but drones could also help SWAT teams in tactical situations or stand offs.

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"You could save lives, save officers lives, you can send a drone in front of a window, where you don't want an officer’s face. It could look inside, you could be over the top of the building, and circle it, to see if someone is running out side of the building,” Adams said.