Drone Use Giving State Troopers Advantage in Vehicle Accidents, Investigations

by Ashley Boles and Jason O. Boyd

The process of using a drone to take the photos began in September. (Ashley Boles, NewsChannel 12 photo)

KINSTON, Lenoir County —  State troopers who responded to the crash in Lenoir County Monday that killed a mother and her child were able to use a new tool to help capture evidence.

A drone was used to gather evidence by taking hundreds of pictures over a 10-minute span following the accident on N.C. Hwy. 258 . When you’re dealing with a deadly crash like what happened Monday, time is precious. Trooper David Emory said getting the footage they need quickly is very important.

“This is gonna be able to speed up the process,” Emory said. “You know if we had to take it like with a regular camera or a regular video camera or maybe even say get the fire department out here to take some over the vehicle views, it would take a long time.”

The process of using a drone to take the photos began in September. In the past five months, Emory said the 10 drones his department has have only been used a handful of times. But in each case, the information they were able to gather was invaluable.

“We come out here to the scene we fly the drone, it takes a whole bunch of pictures, like yesterday for instance it took about 277 pictures,” Emory said.

Emory said he’s excited about the prospects for the program. He’s hoping every trooper with the reconstruction unit will soon get a drone to decrease response time and to help prosecutors make necessary charges.

“As far as deciding at fault vehicles, innocent people, that’s what they’ll be used for,” Emory said. [Click for More]