First responders speak on process of handling fatal crash

Local4 News at 5
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 7:50 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - First responders spoke with Local4 on Friday on the process of handling a fatal crash. Hastings Police Chief Adam Story said the process starts with their 911 center.

Giving an example from a previous incident, Chief Story said they received numerous calls about a crash. Hastings Fire and Rescue first responders arrived on scene soon after.

First responders initially only have the dispatch call before arriving on scene. Sometimes their situation changes when en route to a call, which is why they start their assessment right after they arrive. According to HFR, they can only preplan for an event if the information is provided to them in the call.

“Our first objective is scene safety,” said Capitan Tom Treffer, of Hastings Fire and Rescue. “We as we’re rolling up with the truck or the ambulance, we’re going to be doing a windshield evaluation. Looking at scene from the seat of the rig, to see if we have any hazards that’s going to endanger us or any of the public.”

After securing the scene, first responders then provided medical attention to those involved. Chief Story said, in the noted example, HFR investigated the possibility that the driver of the pickup truck had a medical emergency. Those results are still pending.

“Under the circumstance where there’s fatalities, the roadway becomes a crime scene, and then we do a thorough investigation of all events,” said Chief Story. “With that, we are the lead agency responsible for the investigation.”

Capitan Treffer said HFR works with HPD to secure the scene. Afterwards, they proceed to conducting medical treatment on those involved. Although HPD is the lead agency in this crash, Chief Story said the Nebraska State Patrol Reconstruction team is assisting them.

“One of our partnering agencies that has a big role in it is the Nebraska State Patrol Reconstruction team and they come in and they do a full reconstruction of the crash,” said Story. “They provide us that assistance in that process.”

Chief Story said HPD has organized and coordinated the entire investigation, but the officials cause of death for the two victims has yet to be determined.