July 16, 2014 9:20 pm

WATCH: New Tool to Help Investigate Serious Crashes in the Okanagan

RCMP in the Central Okanagan have purchased a new tool to help with crash investigations.

It’s called a drone.

The drone is attached to a mini remote controlled helicopter and takes aerial photos of crash scenes.

“It helps us survey the scene just by using photographs because we have to take photos anyways and the aerial photos give us a different perspective. We can actually photograph the entire scene and then reference the markers in two photos from opposite ends of the scene,” says Sgt. Brian Nightingale.

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Yesterday a deadly crash that claimed the lives of three people in lake Country forced the closure of highway 97 for nearly four hours.

It also led to a traffic backlog that spanned for kilometers as drivers waited for the highway to reopen.

The drone is expected to expedite road re-openings when serious crashes close them down.

“The drone allows us to photograph the scene, survey the scene and have the whole action scene cleaned up in about half hour as opposed to six hours to survey it,” says Sgt.Nightingale.

Even though a drone was used in last night’s case, the conditions in the accident didn’t allow for a quicker highway opening.

But it’s hoped with the drone now in use those lengthy closures will be few and far between.

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