Authorities are searching for clues after two teenagers were apparently ejected from their vehicle in a serious car crash.
A Department of Transportation worker found the lifeless bodies of Leonidas Vagias and Samuel Cali, who were both 19 years old, close to a blue Lexus that was near mile marker 62.5, just off the southbound side of Highway 287 in Upstate New York. At this point, investigators believe that the Lexus crashed and the two victims were killed almost instantly; however, law enforcement has not yet determined a cause of the car accident.
In a tweet, the Don Basco High School football team mourned the loss of the two victims, who graduated in 2015. Vagias went on to play for the University of Rhode Island and Cali was a freshman student-athlete at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Analyzing Car Crash Evidence in NY Car Accidents
Since the early 2000s, every new car and truck sold in the United States has been equipped with an Event Data Recorder (EDR), a data recording device that is like the “black boxes” in commercial airplanes. The EDR captures and stores a number of vehicle metrics, including:
- Speed: Excess velocity is one of the most common contributing factors in car crashes. Most EDRs record both raw speed data and advanced speed data, like acceleration rate.
- Brakes: Depending on the vehicle’s make and model, most EDRs record both the brake application and any mechanical faults or structural flaws.
- Driver Response: Some EDRs record data only, like steering and wheel angles; other EDRs, most notably the ones in some commercial vehicles, have rear-facing dashboard cameras.
Nearly all EDRs also record airbag deployment and seatbelt use.
Like other computers, EDRs are useless to plaintiffs unless the information on them is acquired, downloaded, analyzed and effectively used in court. To acquire the information, an attorney sends a spoliation letter to the vehicle owner and insurance company, so that this potentially valuable evidence can be preserved.
Downloading the information usually requires a court order because New York has a rather strict EDR privacy law that essentially allows the vehicle owner to block access in most cases. Once the raw numbers are translated into figures and evidence that a jury can understand, a knowledgeable auto accident and personal injury attorney can potentially use these building blocks to present a compelling case and help their client secure maximum compensation.
Even if there are few witnesses and the police report is inconclusive, a person who was injured in a serious car accident can still make a strong case by presenting solid evidence. For a free consultation with hard-working personal injury attorneys who understand the nuances of NY car accident laws, contact Proner & Proner. Our main office is conveniently located across from Grand Central Terminal.