Introduction: The motor vehicle crash (MVC) constitutes an important challenge for forensic pathology in order to identify the manner and cause of death. Our study focuses on a fatal accident during a rally race corresponding to MVC sub-category. Materials and method: Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) was performed before the conventional autopsy. Autoptic and PMCT data were compared. Data collection allowed analyzing biomechanical dynamics of the incident and post-traumatic injuries through qualitative-statistics and solicitation quantitative indices. Results: Photo and circumstantial evidence analysis showed a wrong installation of double shoulder belt system of head and neck support (HANS) collar. PMTC clearly highlighted multiple and bilateral fractures involving roof and base of skull; a displaced fracture of the right acetabulum was also encountered. Autopsy confirmed PMCT data and revealed a brainstem laceration. AIS (Abbreviated Injury Scale) achieved a maximum score in consideration of fatal injuries. Discussion: The injuries analysis resulting from photographic surveys examination, conventional autopsy, and PMCT has led us to confirm a fatal front collision with a tree trunk. Head trauma represents a major injury in the present case. In this case, head injuries, related to whiplash trauma, are a consequence of a double shoulder belt system (HANS collar component) wrong installation. Conclusion: MVC and especially high-speed motor racing represent an important death cause. There was, for this reason, a marked development of cars and occupants’ safety systems, such as HANS collar. PMCT improves the diagnostic performance of conventional autopsy and increases forensic medical knowledge related to traumatic injuries.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Legal Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine