This post originally appeared on the Uniform Stories website and is reprinted here with their permission.
There are certain things that stay with you in this job. You’ll always remember your first fight. Your first pursuit. Your first arrest. There are other things that simply blend together into a blur or an amalgamation of multiple stories that bleed into one another. And then there are the things that are crystal clear. The memories you couldn’t cleanse yourself of if you tried.
There are the screams. For me, there are (so far) two.
I’ve spent over half of my career assigned to the traffic unit as a motor officer. My primary function is investigating collisions and writing citations. I’m also assigned to the fatal/major injury collision team. It’s got a silly name. I’ve long thought it should be renamed the Fatal Accident Response Team. I’ve never gotten much support from the Powers That Be on that one. Alas, I soldier on.
About seven years ago, we got called out to a fatal collision near a local college. Never before, nor since, have I seen such destruction. It looked like a scene from Fallujah. This car was absolutely destroyed. It looked like it had hit a roadside bomb and disintegrated.
As a new member of the reconstruction team at the time, I had the duty of holding the prism pole (a job we affectionately refer to as the “pole monkey” because a monkey could accomplish the task) as we forensically mapped the scene with our total station. That day I marked over 87 points of body evidence. The teenaged female driver had been ripped apart and we were able to identify 87 different parts of her body. Including a de-gloved calf.
You probably shouldn’t google that term.
As we were wrapping up the scene, her mom arrived on scene. How or why, I’ll never know. I do, however, know that I will never forget the pain, anguish and blood-curdling heartbreak that reverberated off of every object within a one block radius as this mother of a beautiful, young woman let loose a caterwaul so powerful it resides in my memory.
To read the rest of the post, please click through to the original post on Uniform Stories…