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debirlfan
06-02-2014, 09:50 AM
The "accident" is no accident, it was caused by the tire being shot out. It was covered up by the local cops. Hero arrives on the scene a couple days later. (Assume no rain and little traffic.) Is there any way to tell from the skid marks that the tire was shot out, as opposed to simply blowing, or the driver just speeding and losing control?

cornflake
06-02-2014, 09:59 AM
The "accident" is no accident, it was caused by the tire being shot out. It was covered up by the local cops. Hero arrives on the scene a couple days later. (Assume no rain and little traffic.) Is there any way to tell from the skid marks that the tire was shot out, as opposed to simply blowing, or the driver just speeding and losing control?

Not that I can think of.

Well, wait, you may be able to tell speeding and losing control from a tire issue at a non-high rate of speed, depending, but not like, what happened to the tire without the tire, as in blown vs shot vs. whatever. You know shooting a tire won't necessarily cause an accident to begin with, yes?

debirlfan
06-02-2014, 10:16 AM
Not that I can think of.

Well, wait, you may be able to tell speeding and losing control from a tire issue at a non-high rate of speed, depending, but not like, what happened to the tire without the tire, as in blown vs shot vs. whatever. You know shooting a tire won't necessarily cause an accident to begin with, yes?

I'm thinking speeding car, on a curve, shot out tire - driver loses control and goes off the road and is killed. The local (corrupt) police claim it was an accident (possibly a blown tire - the victim is a known lead-foot, so it doesn't raise too many questions.) Victim's brother and his ex-highway patrol girlfriend show up a couple days later and become suspicious - currently I have her finding a bunch of cigarette butts in the bushes where the gunman was laying in wait for the car, but I'd like to add a bit of additional evidence. If the skid marks wouldn't show anything suspicious, then maybe she finds a shell casing?

cornflake
06-02-2014, 10:48 AM
I'm thinking speeding car, on a curve, shot out tire - driver loses control and goes off the road and is killed. The local (corrupt) police claim it was an accident (possibly a blown tire - the victim is a known lead-foot, so it doesn't raise too many questions.) Victim's brother and his ex-highway patrol girlfriend show up a couple days later and become suspicious - currently I have her finding a bunch of cigarette butts in the bushes where the gunman was laying in wait for the car, but I'd like to add a bit of additional evidence. If the skid marks wouldn't show anything suspicious, then maybe she finds a shell casing?

Where's the tire?

Someone smoking - or emptying a car ashtray - in bushes by the side of the road isn't going to lead anyone to think 'a gunman was here, laying in wait to shoot out a tire.'

Nor would a shell casing unless there's evidence the tire was shot.

debirlfan
06-02-2014, 10:58 AM
Where's the tire?

Someone smoking - or emptying a car ashtray - in bushes by the side of the road isn't going to lead anyone to think 'a gunman was here, laying in wait to shoot out a tire.'

Nor would a shell casing unless there's evidence the tire was shot.


Unfortunately, the car has "accidentally" been sent to the crusher. Since this is in a very rural, deserted area (south Texas) I'm thinking that the discarded butts (they're not actually on the roadside, more on a bit of a "rise" where the guy was shooting from) combined with the fresh shell casing nearby should be enough that they decide to go look at the car - which turns out to have been destroyed.

cornflake
06-02-2014, 11:21 AM
Unfortunately, the car has "accidentally" been sent to the crusher. Since this is in a very rural, deserted area (south Texas) I'm thinking that the discarded butts (they're not actually on the roadside, more on a bit of a "rise" where the guy was shooting from) combined with the fresh shell casing nearby should be enough that they decide to go look at the car - which turns out to have been destroyed.

Maybe it's me, but it feels like you're reverse engineering this is an odd way.

I don't know why they'd be looking for things far from the road, if they didn't look at the car. Nor do I get why cigarette butts and a shell casing would = shot at a car in rural Texas of all places, and not shot at a squirrel or person or stack of cans or whatever.

jclarkdawe
06-02-2014, 04:23 PM
I'm going to be very suspicious of a car sent to the crusher that fast. Process here is that the police keep the car as evidence until computers are downloaded, pictures taken, and systems are checked. It takes a lot more then a couple of days. In Texas, I believe this investigation is done by the Texas Rangers, unless in a large urban area that has the ability to do this.

Then the insurance comes and investigates. The insurance company wants to find someone else to blame so it doesn't have to pay. Then the junk yard goes to work on the car. Everything that can be salvaged is removed from the car. Junk yards don't work fast.

Two days? Two weeks if you're lucky normally and usually closer to two months or more.

Normally in a fatal, every piece of the car is picked up and sent to investigation. This is after the piece is photographed at the scene and documented. But since you have cops who either intentionally or accidently destroying the crime scene, here's what I'd do with this.

To get the type of accident you want, you need the tire to shred from decompression and lateral forces. In other words, losing air when being pushed to the side tends to cause a tire to break apart. The tire will end up in some large and a lot of small pieces. Your bullet needs to go through the tire, as it's going to be the exit wound that does most of the damage. Ideally you want a bullet that fragments.

Have him find a small piece of the sidewall where there is a fragment hole through the tire.

Shell casings and cigarette butts on the side of a Texas highway are probably the norm.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

King Neptune
06-02-2014, 04:29 PM
What would happen would depend on the bullet and the tire. There are tires that can take a bullet without a real blowout, just a slow deflation. A small caliber bullet would make that more likely. If I were planning to shoot out a tire these days, then I would use an elephant gun or a .50 cal. or something else big. But it would seem that you have an amateur doing the shooting, because a pro wouldn't leave a pile of butts and a casing.

There is some chance that someone could tell from the tire that it was shot, and they remove wheels before shredding.

PorterStarrByrd
06-02-2014, 04:30 PM
It's possible that the bullet 'skipped' into the tire leaving a hard to find ding in the road, or after it hit, a piece of the tire with the bullet hole was shed somewhere along the line of travel of the car and was far enough away it wasn't found by the police.

WeaselFire
06-02-2014, 04:40 PM
Is there any way to tell from the skid marks that the tire was shot out, as opposed to simply blowing, or the driver just speeding and losing control?
What do you need to happen in the story?

You can only tell a tire is shot by looking at the tire. Tires getting shot don't usually blow out, they deflate (tire blowouts on good tires are almost non-existent).

"Car crushers," who are recyclers, don't crush a car until it has no other useful income. Tires are recycled, all the salvageable parts are pulled.

Stop trying to write a dramatic movie and write a book instead.

Jeff

debirlfan
06-02-2014, 08:08 PM
Actually I don't need hard evidence of this guy intentionally being killed, I just need enough of a red flag to get his brother (who tends to be suspicious anyhow) to do some digging. The car being crushed (oops, paperwork got mixed up, wrong car was sent to the crusher, sorry) seems like a good angle. Also perhaps the local police/sheriff handling the matter, rather than calling in the state.

kaitie
06-02-2014, 08:24 PM
Personally, if you're working the dirty everyone angle, I would believe that they were able to get rid of the car (or at least attempt to). I mean, they're intentionally not following the rules, after all. A quick little payoff to the crushing guys to move this car up in the line or something of that nature? I could easily buy into that idea.

I was thinking the same thing Jim was, though, about having them find a tire scrap with a hole in it. Maybe something that's blown away from the road a bit as I'm sure the dirty cops would have tried to collect everything.

badwolf.usmc
06-02-2014, 09:41 PM
A couple weeks ago i shredded a tire while driving over some train tracks, and detached the belt in another tire. The tire had 9 large, hand length, cuts in the sidewalls and I was going about 55 MPH. You know what happened? I heard a popping noise and the truck started to shake a bit before i stopped about a mile down the road. No rollovers, no flipping, no explosions. Just me waiting a couple hours for the tow truck and then tire replacement (I didn't have a spare tire).

debirlfan
06-02-2014, 09:53 PM
Forgot to mention that this happens back in the mid 1980's - I assume things were a little more lax back then, and the tires probably weren't as good.

King Neptune
06-02-2014, 10:08 PM
Forgot to mention that this happens back in the mid 1980's - I assume things were a little more lax back then, and the tires probably weren't as good.

If it were in the '50's you could expect things to be looser, and the tires certainly weren't as good. but things largely got tightened in the 1960's and 70's, and steel belted radials became the rule in the 70's; although they were around since 1948.

jclarkdawe
06-03-2014, 02:12 AM
What would happen would depend on the bullet and the tire. There are tires that can take a bullet without a real blowout, just a slow deflation. A small caliber bullet would make that more likely. If I were planning to shoot out a tire these days, then I would use an elephant gun or a .50 cal. or something else big. But it would seem that you have an amateur doing the shooting, because a pro wouldn't leave a pile of butts and a casing.

There is some chance that someone could tell from the tire that it was shot, and they remove wheels before shredding.

Odds are if you shoot a tire it will have a slow deflate. But the OP wants a big accident, and the only way that's going to happen is a big blowout. Big caliper gun, entry and exit holes, and a lot of side torsion from turning is about the only way to do it.

Watch a show like COPS and see how little a spike strip effects a car. I believe spike strips are not allowed to be used on high speed turns, but I'm not sure.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

King Neptune
06-03-2014, 02:43 AM
Odds are if you shoot a tire it will have a slow deflate. But the OP wants a big accident, and the only way that's going to happen is a big blowout. Big caliper gun, entry and exit holes, and a lot of side torsion from turning is about the only way to do it.

Watch a show like COPS and see how little a spike strip effects a car. I believe spike strips are not allowed to be used on high speed turns, but I'm not sure.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe


Yes, a large caliber gun might do it, but it would also depend on the tire. A burst from a .50 caliber machine gun would do the trick, if the car were going fast enough, but a single shot probably would just make a hole. Depending on the car, etc. a hit on a front wheel hub could do more, but that would be an impossible shot.

debirlfan
06-03-2014, 05:43 AM
I may be over thinking this. What if instead of the tire, the shooter aimed for the driver and shot a hole in the window? Driver is speeding and on a curve to begin with - is startled, and jerks the steering wheel? For that matter, I suppose I could just have shooter actually hit the driver - if the cops are dirty, the medical examiner might be, too. (Or totally incompetent - isn't that an appointed position in some places?)

ULTRAGOTHA
06-03-2014, 06:19 AM
If you are going to crush the car anyway, you could just have him run off the road. Brother finds a bit of brother's car with two different paints scraped on it or something.

WeaselFire
06-03-2014, 06:35 AM
Actually I don't need hard evidence of this guy intentionally being killed, I just need enough of a red flag to get his brother (who tends to be suspicious anyhow) to do some digging. The car being crushed (oops, paperwork got mixed up, wrong car was sent to the crusher, sorry) seems like a good angle. Also perhaps the local police/sheriff handling the matter, rather than calling in the state.
I'm not sure I'd buy this, but I'd have to read the book or plot line to know for sure.

Jeff

Hendo
06-03-2014, 07:51 AM
If you are going to crush the car anyway, you could just have him run off the road. Brother finds a bit of brother's car with two different paints scraped on it or something.

This is exactly what I was going to suggest. "If he ran off the road on his own then where did this red paint come from?" He could touch it and feel that it's "fresh" in the sense that it hasn't yet flaked off on its own in the weather.

Also it's possible he might be able to locate a second set of skid marks which are maybe what sparked his interest to look at the compacted car in the first place. I'm not sure how difficult it is to clean skid marks off of a road but I'd assume it's a little more annoying than trying to just scrub them away with a brush and some water.

debirlfan
06-03-2014, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the ideas, all. I need to set down and figure out what works.

King Neptune
06-03-2014, 04:21 PM
I may be over thinking this. What if instead of the tire, the shooter aimed for the driver and shot a hole in the window? Driver is speeding and on a curve to begin with - is startled, and jerks the steering wheel? For that matter, I suppose I could just have shooter actually hit the driver - if the cops are dirty, the medical examiner might be, too. (Or totally incompetent - isn't that an appointed position in some places?)

That could work. If a car is going sixty on a two lane road with a steep hillside down on one side and a curve at a suitable place, then the driver would have to be hit, so you could have a competent medical examiner.

Russian
06-07-2014, 06:02 AM
You're not going to be able to tell if a tire has been shot or simply punctured unless the bullet is lodged in the steel belt. It will look like a puncture or a partially weakened tire wall that eventually failed at speed.

Unless it's an 18 wheeler with a heavy load, the tire won't blow out. It will be a slow or fast leak that will allow the driver to maintain to control. In modern times air bags, anti-lock brakes and crash tested frames will make it a survivable crash. You'll need a multiple rollover or high speed immovable object collision to get a fatality.

Generally, extreme procedural deviations would be better proof than a punctured tire wall. Either way, what's the motivation for an entire police force to cover up this scenario. Why not just have one cop bleed the brake lines? It's easier to explain a bad apple than systemic corruption. Just my opinion.

badwolf.usmc
06-08-2014, 03:47 AM
A high powered rifle, say a .50 cal rifle, can take out the engine block of most vehicles. So if the vehicle was going downhill, with a turn at the end, if the engine was killed and the hydraulic systems damaged, like brakes and powered steering, then the vehicle would not be able to stop nor turn and tumble over the cliff.

You would have a hole in the radiator and engine block, which could easily be overlooked and explained by the massive damage the vehicle would suffer from falling off the cliff. As hydraulic pressure is lost, you would get some fluid on the road and maybe a dent in the road from the .50 cal round.

Russian
06-08-2014, 04:28 AM
A typical accident won't crack the engine block, let alone punch a hole in it. Power steering may go, but you'll still be able to steer with effort. Brakes should still be good as long as hydraulic lines haven't been compromised. If I'm examining an accident and there's a straight line hole punched in the grille, radiator and engine block, I'm going to notice.

And it still goes back to why would someone do something that over the top? Why not just make it look like a burglary gone bad? The only time it makes sense to do something complicated is when the perpetrator will be the prime suspect. Otherwise, simple is better.

debirlfan
06-08-2014, 06:44 PM
I changed the original scenario around, and think I made it work. Thanks, all.

Mark G
06-26-2014, 03:30 AM
My 2 cents:

Yes, BMG .50 would be a good choice - but what are the chances of hitting a moving tire at high speed? A true pro might want a 100% guarantee of success. Which reminds me of a documentary I watched about assassinations. In one case, the assassins knew the route their target was going to take, and knew the type of car he'd be in. They set up a triggered trap by the side of the road, which shot a big metal rod through the side of his armored car - if I recall correctly - timed and positioned precisely to kill the passenger in the rear of that model car.

What about a .50 cal rifle, set up in a special mount by the side of the road, with a triggering mechanism built with a light beam sensor?

Maybe he could find some tell-tale thing left behind, like the reflector for the trigger beam, or a piece of the bullet...

Russian
06-27-2014, 05:57 AM
The hit your thinking of involved the leftist terrorist group RAF (Red Army Fraction) and a German banker. They set up a bicycle bomb against a light pole. The bomb was a shaped explosive charge with a copper plate facing the road. Upon detonation, the explosion caused the copper plate to collapse in on itself forming a very heavy bullet. It struck the side of the banker's car killing him.

Mark G
09-19-2014, 10:29 PM
The hit your thinking of involved the leftist terrorist group RAF (Red Army Fraction) and a German banker. They set up a bicycle bomb against a light pole. The bomb was a shaped explosive charge with a copper plate facing the road. Upon detonation, the explosion caused the copper plate to collapse in on itself forming a very heavy bullet. It struck the side of the banker's car killing him.

That sounds right.

Cathryn
09-21-2014, 12:30 AM
The "accident" is no accident, it was caused by the tire being shot out.

Just outside of Walker Nevada there was a guy who was shooting out tires. (maybe 5,6,7 years ago) They finally caught him but he caused a number of accidents before they did. The Reno Gazette Journal would have covered it also the Nevada Appeal out of Carson. The Nevada State Police would have testified how they figured it out. All public record if you want to research it.

A blow out is from a weakness in the tire fabric. A bullet hole is something else. I have seen two blow outs happen in front of me in my lifetime and on both occasions the vehicle reacted like a balloon with the air escaping, shooting on an angle, one for about 50 yards out into a field and the other across the center medium and two lanes of traffic to strike a truck in a third lane. So fast no reaction was possible on the part of the drivers of either vehicle. If the effect of a tire being shot is similar... smaller hole maybe.

I wonder if Google knows where they are some videos of tires being shot out. Might be worth a look.