Police and news media provide the public with small glimpses of fatal motor-vehicle collisions while providing very little explanation whether any of these are of a suspicious nature. While the vast majority of these collisions are accidents and not criminal homicides, many deaths occur for unexplained reasons that need further inquiry.

Thirty years ago this would have been a fatal collision. Today it was not.

At Gorski Consulting thousands of major collisions have been examined, Many of them in considerable detail. In many instances a full list of injuries sustained by occupants have been matched to interior contacts. Seat-belt usage, and the manner of usage has been documented. And the severity of many collisions in terms of the change-in-velocity has been determined through crush measurements that estimate the dissipated energy. In more modern times, data from event data recorders has also been reviewed. Therefore we are aware of what constitutes a “life-threatening” collision where those life-threatening injuries can be expected. However we are also aware of those instances of collisions reported by police and news media, too many to be accepted, where fatal injuries have occurred for no explained reasons. These are collisions of low to moderate severity, where structural intrusion into the occupant space does not exist, and where seat-belts and air-bags should have protected those who are reported deceased. Neither police nor the news media provide an explanation why these deaths have occurred and the public does not understand the reasoning why these matters should be questioned.

So, we now provide an example of a severe collision where life-threatening injuries could be expected. The OPP reported that a head-on collision occurred yesterday, August 10, on Hwy 59 between Gunns Hill Road and Old School Line in Oxford County, Ontario. The photo shown above is one of those that was posted on the OPP Twitter page. This is the type of severe head-on collision where, 30 years ago, we would have expected fatal injuries. Somewhat fortunately, it is reported that the occupants of this collision survived, although the extent of those injuries may be grave. With respect to the visible damage, there is less crush to the lower and stiffer portion of the unidentified passenger car while there was substantial crush at the upper level resulting in considerable structural intrusion into the driver’s space, as shown in the additional OPP photo below.

Crush at a “higher” level, with structural intrusion, are bad outcomes which often do not bode well for occupant survival.

This pattern of crush is not surprising as we suspect that this car came into contact with a taller pick-up truck, as shown in the additional OPP photo shown below.

The OPP photographer was more interested in showing a view of the boat rather than the pick-up truck, visible in the background. Without a view of the truck it is not possible to understand what came in contact with the crushed car.

Without a view of the pick-up truck it is not possible to understand what came in contact with the crushed car. However that is not the purpose of this discussion.

It needs to be understood that governments, manufacturers and various research institutions have been conducting controlled crash tests for decades, at speeds that result in high changes-in-velocity. “Dummies” installed in these crashes are increasingly sophisticated and provide a vast amount of data about the accelerations and forces that were experienced. Those data relate to expected injuries and levels of injury severity. While the controlled tests are not replicas of real life collisions they provide an indication of what levels of injury might be expected, especially when they are combined with detailed examinations of real-life collisions. Thus those familiar with the results of such data have a fairly good idea of what injuries should be expected given a certain collision scenario.

In this current age, even when seat-belts are not worn, occupants are far more protected by other safety features than what existed 30 years ago. Thus combining the expectations of research with the existence of many safety features, collision results that “don’t smell right” are like any other matters, wrapped in colourful paper with a bow on top,  where something fishy should not be purchased. It is our societal obligation to protect those innocent parties who pass away in our midst for unexplained reasons and to ensure that their deaths are no just statistical tick marks. Within reason, we need to make a critical evaluation of whatever information we receive especially in these times where nothing is for certain and anything we read or see can be just a manipulation of reality.