Washington State Patrol using UAS to fly over crash scenes



The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is crediting its UAS with helping to ease backups that are caused by crashes on the road.

Since the start of WSP’s pilot program back in July, UAS have been used to fly over 20 crash scenes.

According to Washington State Patrol Detective Eric Gunderson, one of the UAS named ‘Ice Man’ recently flew over a rollover crash that was blocking two lanes of traffic on Interstate-5 in Tacoma, Washington.

Gunderson says that using the UAS, he was able to capture more than 200 digital photos, which allowed him to document the scene in just over 20 minutes. It would have taken three to four hours to document the scene without the UAS, according to Gunderson.

​Thanks to being able to document the scene in such a short amount of time, the lanes were reopened and the wrecked cars were cleared in a much shorter time than usual, which saves the WSP in overtime costs. It is also helps diminish backups and accidents that are caused in unexpected slowdowns.

“That’s why we invested the time, money, and effort into this program,” Gunderson says via KING5.com.

“We think it’s really going to be a game changer in clearing the roadways.”