F

atal Accident Collision Team

In 1999, Prosecutor Stephen Rubin, recognizing the need to augment the resources of local law enforcement in the area of accident reconstruction, set out to form the Vehicular Homicide Unit within the Prosecutor's Office. This unit was officially formed on October 1, 2000 with funding coming entirely from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (NJDHTS). Colonel Peter O'Hagan, Director of NJDHTS, shared Prosecutor Rubin's vision to form such a unit to combat fatal and serious injury accidents in this county. This unit and its principal component, the Fatal Accident Collision Team (FACT), have been funded entirely from a three year grant from the NJDHTS. This grant, which will expire in October of 2003, funds the equipment and overtime necessary to fully and completely investigate fatal and serious injury accidents in Hunterdon County.

The equipment funded through this grant includes a laser mapping system, computer aided drafting programs, accident reconstruction programs, animation programs, computers, radios, cameras, and a host of other necessary equipment.


ON THE AVERAGE, SOMEONE PERISHES ON THE ROADS OF HUNTERDON COUNTY EVERY THREE WEEKS


This grant also provided a generator and high power lights, so that during protracted scene investigations, the impact on volunteer fire departments and rescue squads for lighting, can be minimized or eliminated. At the present time, the FACT Team is utilizing a 7-year-old van that has been refurbished. This was made possible through the generosity of the NJDHTS and the use of forfeited funds.

The FACT Team is comprised of Prosecutor's Office personnel and municipal police officers. All members of the FACT Team have received advanced training and education in the field of accident reconstruction. Currently members of the Raritan, Readington, Holland and Lebanon Township Police Departments participate on the FACT Team. The FACT Team responds to assist in the investigation of every fatal motor vehicle accident that occurs in the county regardless of jurisdiction, as well as to accidents that result in serious injury when the threat of death is imminent. . The FACT Team also responds to other incidents where reconstruction expertise is required.