Crash Scenes Hit Home for Metro's Fatal Detail Unit - 8 News NOW

Crash Scenes Hit Home for Metro's Fatal Detail Unit

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Detective Dave Rooney. Detective Dave Rooney.
Brazyl Ward was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Halloween night. Brazyl Ward was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Halloween night.

LAS VEGAS -- Six-year-old Brazyl Ward was nearly killed Halloween night when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Her case is one of nearly 200, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Fatal Detail Unit investigated last year.

The unit, made up of eight men, must detail each crash scene and try to figure out why the crash happened.

One look inside Detective Dave Rooney's trunk and you'll see the tools of his trade. There are also blankets for covering bodies. He can't even count the number of times he has had to do that.

"We have a job to do. It does affect you, but we have a job to do and like anybody, you kind of set your mind to the task and sometimes you'll have those cases that you feel it," he said.

"No matter what, we're human beings and we have to be able to deal with it," said Sgt. Richard Strader who is in charge of the fatal detail team.

When they're not on the roads, they can usually be found in the office trying to solve math problems.

"We use all this data," Rooney said.

They even use Matchbox cars to map out crashes.

"They look like toys, but we use them as tools."

And then they file their reports.

"Forty-six pages just doesn't happen overnight," said Kenneth Salisbury, a Metro detective who is in charge of the Brazyl Ward case.

Ward was hit while crossing the street on Halloween. Metro's Fatal Detail Unit was called to the scene to investigate the crash because the girl's injuries were so severe, it was thought she might not survive. Ward did survive and is improving daily, but the driver who hit her has never been caught.

"This collision is a hit-and-run and we have nobody. We have no suspects," Sgt. Strader said.

He believes the driver may have been drunk or wanted for another crime and that's why he didn't stop. He says, at this point, it's unlikely the driver will turn himself in.

"Because they don't have the guts to do it, but somebody in their family knows, somebody in their family, some friend," Strader said.

Detective Salisbury has a stack of Crimestoppers tips.

"I've never had that many on a hit-and-run before," he said.

A diagram of the crash marks pieces of Brazyl's costume, her candy, and her body in the street. It paints the gruesome picture of the accident scene.

"I went and visited her in the hospital, even after the case. There's nothing investigational left that I have to do. I just want to check on her," Salisbury said.

"We are frustrated by that case and it's going to haunt us. It's something I'll remember, you know, until the day I retire, if we can't close it," Strader said.

If the driver in the Ward case is found, Strader says, it will be too late for police to have any information on whether the driver had been impaired.

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