3D-scanning tech used in Rainbow Bridge car explosion probe


Police are using 3D-scanning technology to digitally recreate and find the cause of a deadly high-speed crash this week that sparked panic at a Niagara Falls border checkpoint.

“They take it to the scene, it scans the scene and reproduces a 3D image for them to work on of the entire scene,” Niagara Falls Police Department Chief John Faso told NBC-affiliate WGRZ.

Faso, whose department is overseeing the probe, also said it will be a “monumental task” to get an accurate view of the crash using the new tech.

“This is not something that’s going to happen overnight,” Faso said during the Friday interview.

Driver Kurt Villani and his wife Monica, both 53, were killed instantly Wednesday when their 2022 Flying Spur Bentley literally took flight after hitting a barrier at around 100mph, crashing down in a huge fireball on the New York side of Rainbow Bridge.

The 2022 Flying Spur Bentley literally took flight after hitting a barrier at around 100mph at the bridge.
Police on Wednesday blockaded Niagara Falls roads after a Bentley crashed on the Rainbow Bridge crossing that heads to Canada.

It sparked a heightened state of alert, with several other border crossings shuttered — until the FBI confirmed that night it had found “no explosive material, and no terrorism nexus.”

Niagara Falls cops are now probing the incident as a “traffic investigation,” and looking at whether the luxury British car simply malfunctioned. 

Scenes of the wreckage after the crash.

One piece of evidence that will be critical for the investigation is the car’s Event Data Recorder, said automotive analyst Lauren Fix.

The device is similar to an aircraft’s “black box,” maintaining a significant amount of information about how it was driven. 

Niagara Falls police plan to use 3D-scanning tech to find the cause of the crash.

“It knows steering input, because we have steer by wire, it has accelerator information,” she told WGRZ. “It would tell you if the pedal was put to the floor.”

“They could actually see that the driver applied the accelerator pedal, not unintentionally, then it could have been [possibly] a medical issue,” Fix said. “They’re going to have to make a decision based on the knowledge that they have.”

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