Skip to content

Letter: Many reasons why lengthy closure of highways after accidents

When there is a collision and someone has died it is required to have a special team of Accident Reconstructionists attend the scene
Northern roads are often closed by traffic accidents.

Editor's note: Mr. Gai is writing in response to the letter from Mr. Saunders titled Why are highway closures so long?


I am writing in response to Mr. Saunders as to why the highways are closed for a lengthy time after a fatality on a roadway.

As being originally from North Bay, I came across this letter to the editor and would like to share the reasons people may not be aware of.

When there is a collision and someone has died it is required to have a special team of Accident Re-constructionists attend the scene.

There are only about 40 of these specially trained officers with the OPP in all of Ontario and with my large city police service, we only have 4. North Bay Police, to my knowledge, doesn't have any and would require OPP to assist them in any major collision.

Their job is to look at every possible factor of why the collision occurred, including environmental factors, engineering design, vehicle contributions, and so on.

The Reconstructionists and Technical Collision Investigators must attend the scene, and mark every bit of evidence including scrapes, tire marks, and car parts. They thoroughly go through each vehicle and typically seize them for further examination.

The officers then have to scan and accurately take measurements of the entire scene typically done with survey equipment and drones.

Once all the information has been collected the scene can be cleaned up. The reconstructionists then, over the next coming weeks and months, produce a full report putting the collision back together.

Due to the amount of time and in-depth look at each detail in the collision, this kind of response only occurs usually when there is a fatality involved.

So in response to the length of time please consider the following. Police are required to have this specialty officer attend the scene travelling from wherever they are in the province. Complete all this work and collect all the evidence for the report. All of these factors are why it takes hours for a road to reopen after a fatality.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Adam Gai