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Crash reconstruction expert gives insight into fatal Westport crash investigation

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Posted at 4:02 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 19:19:02-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Wednesday, a crash reconstruction expert detailed the steps that make up a deadly crash investigation, like the one that is taking place concerning last week's crash in the Westport area of Kansas City, Missouri.

It's been one week since an SUV and a Kansas City, Missouri, fire truck collided at Broadway Boulevard and Westport Road. The cars crashed in a nearby building, causing it to partially collapse. Three people died.

Once police finish up their investigation, they'll put it into a case file and send it to the prosecutor's office for them to review. From there, prosecutors will decide if anyone will be charged.

The KSHB 41 I-Team spoke with John Glennon with Crash Forensics. He explained the first thing he noticed while driving to the scene.

"There's very little time to see a vehicle coming into the intersection here. There's no visibility in the approach at all," Glennon said.

Glennon is an expert with more than three decades of experience. He reviews major injury crashes involving heavy vehicles like fire trucks.

Before meeting with the KSHB 41 I-Team, he drove the routes of the fire truck and the SUV.

"By doing that, I get a feel for what the approach looks like as far as sight line and visual clutter and things of that nature," Glennon said.

KCMO police said the fire truck was going north on Broadway Boulevard with emergency lights and sirens on. At the time, police said the fire truck was responding to a fire call.

The SUV was driving west on Westport Road when they collided.

The crash sent both vehicles into a nearby brick building causing it to partially collapse. Two people in the SUV died and a woman walking on the sidewalk was killed, too.

Glennon said investigations these days rely more on technology than just the physical scene left behind.

"Where the crashes were historically more driven by the roadway evidence and some of the harder evidence, these days we're looking more at data sources from the vehicles to determine what occurred in the crash," Glennon said.

KCPD said investigators will look at speed and who had the green light. They'll also go over witness interviews and surveillance footage.

Glennon said investigators will likely review intersection cameras, too.

Police said the investigation could take several weeks, if not a couple of months.