The Minnesota State Patrol Investigative Services Section houses the Metro Crash Reconstruction Team and the Crash Reconstruction Coordinator.
The Metro Crash Reconstruction unit is staffed by five troopers whose full-time duty is to investigate serious and fatal motor vehicle crashes. Most of their caseload is in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, but they do respond occasionally to crashes in other parts of the state as the need arises.
In Greater Minnesota, there are 35 crash reconstructionists who conduct reconstruction duties on a part-time basis and fulfill regular trooper duties during the remainder of the work week.
The Role of Crash Reconstructionists
The goal of a crash reconstruction is to document how a crash occurred and determine which factors caused the crash.
While the vast majority of crashes are caused by driver (or pedestrian, or bicyclist) error, a crash reconstruction can also assess the role that vehicle defects or roadway design may have played. If a vehicle defect or roadway design is determined to be a contributing factor, that information is forwarded to the appropriate local, state, or federal authority so that vehicle design or roadway design changes can be made.
Crash Reconstruction Coordinator
The Crash Reconstruction Coordinator is responsible for ensuring all State Patrol crash reconstructionists receive on-going professional training to stay abreast of the changes in vehicle equipment and technology, as well as studying the rapidly changing investigative tools used in this type of work.
The Crash Reconstruction Coordinator also ensures that all reconstructionists in the state have the complex equipment necessary to perform this vital task.