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View Full Version : A car accident that wasn't an accident



Chrissy
05-18-2014, 07:10 PM
I've been trying to imagine how someone could cause a car accident (targeted person; single car/non-impact; and fatal) and make it look like an accident. It's my understanding that police/experts are pretty good at reconstructing and determining the cause of accidents. They check for faulty auto parts, etc.

In my scenario, this accident-causing person has some power/clout (say he's a government agent of some kind) so he would have access to the person's schedule, a semi, and people to do the deed.

So, would this work, on six lane highway, 70 mph speed limit: semi, in middle lane, swerves into target's lane (right lane), not enough for impact, but enough so that, if the timing is right, the target swerves away to avoid collision and runs through the guard rail and into cement wall on side of highway...

There is a problem of witnesses who would have seen the semi swerve into the lane, possibly. Guy with clout can't control traffic patterns...

Besides that (if there were no witnesses) would the police/experts have to rule the case an accident, or....what am I missing?

Basically I want the outcome of the investigation to be "accident" even if not fully explainable. A little bit of unfounded suspicion because... how could someone orchestrate such a thing? (powerful person not yet known to be powerful.)

Thanks for any input!

ElaineA
05-18-2014, 07:33 PM
Chrissy, something very similar to your scenario happened here last week. A semi swerved, the box truck next to it swerved in response and tipped over. No deaths, just a lot of freeway upset. The semi went on its merry way but...and this is what I wanted to bring up...Freeway cameras. They were combing the camera feeds to find the semi.

So then I'm thinking about our trip to Colorado. I-70 from Denver to Aspen has a stunningly high speed limit (80) on parts of it, 2 lane parts with sheer drop-offs on the edges. I don't know about traffic cams out there, but I'm thinking there are fewer on the stretches between ski resorts. You didn't mention the setting of the story, but if you could get the accident on a more rural stretch of the highway, perhaps somewhere you might have drop-offs, maybe make it night...driver "fell asleep" could be a reasonable conclusion for the police and none the wiser (if there are no skid marks from victim car braking to avoid the collision).

Good luck!

Chrissy
05-18-2014, 07:49 PM
ElaineA, thank you! I didn't think about cameras, argh. This is south Florida and the stretch I was picturing is alongside a big city/multiple exits (there's a huge concrete wall at one point between the highway and a housing development).

It needs to be fatal (per the bad guy), hence the wall.

Trebor1415
05-18-2014, 08:54 PM
This might work. Note that this was essentially "labratory conditions" but for a work of fiction it seems plausible. And, the high tech aspect fits with someone having a lot of resources. (Instead of just say a jelous ex husband or something)

http://www.ibtimes.com/car-hacking-darpa-funded-researchers-take-control-toyota-prius-ford-escape-using-laptop-video

Chrissy
05-18-2014, 09:14 PM
This might work. Note that this was essentially "labratory conditions" but for a work of fiction it seems plausible. And, the high tech aspect fits with someone having a lot of resources. (Instead of just say a jelous ex husband or something)

http://www.ibtimes.com/car-hacking-darpa-funded-researchers-take-control-toyota-prius-ford-escape-using-laptop-video

Holy... wow. That is scary! Could be the whole premise for a novel. Rogue Pentagon agent wreaks havoc on highways using pilfered DARPA technology. Could use it on airplanes too. Take over the world. :evil

jeseymour
05-19-2014, 05:06 PM
I could see the driver of the semi saying he swerved because there was a bee in the cab. I could totally see myself swerving all over the road in that instance.

jclarkdawe
05-19-2014, 05:34 PM
Swerving a semi from one lane to another usually results in some sliding of tires, and can be seen from the road. It also can be very hard to control. You've got traffic cams and traffic to worry about.

Nearly all of your readers, however, will accept this.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

melindamusil
05-19-2014, 08:59 PM
What are the weather conditions at the time of this accident?
I guess having the setting in Florida probably negates this... but if it's cold enough, you could orchestrate a water main break, creating ice on the road. People aren't expecting the ice so they're driving too fast...
Hm...

Refill-the-Inkwell
05-19-2014, 10:09 PM
Cameras may not be operational for numerous reasons...perhaps the high-powered antagonist knows someone in the Department of Transportation that owes him a favor and disabled the cameras on a designated date.

Chrissy
05-20-2014, 12:22 AM
I could see the driver of the semi saying he swerved because there was a bee in the cab. I could totally see myself swerving all over the road in that instance.:ROFL: Me too!


Swerving a semi from one lane to another usually results in some sliding of tires, and can be seen from the road. It also can be very hard to control. You've got traffic cams and traffic to worry about.

Nearly all of your readers, however, will accept this.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe Re: bold: Haha!

I've come up with an idea that there are two semis, boxing the driver in, in front and on side? The one on the side slowly inching over into driver's lane, versus swerving...

....but drivers behind would see this... maybe a third semi trailing behind....

What are the weather conditions at the time of this accident?
I guess having the setting in Florida probably negates this... but if it's cold enough, you could orchestrate a water main break, creating ice on the road. People aren't expecting the ice so they're driving too fast...
Hm...What is this ice you speak of? :D


Cameras may not be operational for numerous reasons...perhaps the high-powered antagonist knows someone in the Department of Transportation that owes him a favor and disabled the cameras on a designated date.
Ding! Exactly what I thought of as well. Powerful bad guy is powerful.

Thank you guys for the great feedback!