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Clanton officers take crash course

Two Clanton police officers will finish training this week that will enable them to investigate car accidents that result in fatalities or serious injuries.

David Hicks and Whitney Ray will earn special certificates from the Alabama Criminal Justice Center.

Police Chief Brian Stilwell said state troopers currently must come investigate the worst accidents.

Stilwell said having two officers with the certification will be a big benefit for the department, mainly giving officers the skills they need to testify in court.

Accidents resulting in criminal prosecution and serious crashes often mean civil litigation, too.

“This training gives the officers the skills and tools necessary to testify,” said Stilwell.

Training includes determining a car’s speed by skid marks, impact marks, photography skills and finding points of impact by debris.

Stilwell hopes additional officers can be sent to the training in future years.

In 2008, the latest year with official data, Clanton had 652 accidents, including 79 with injuries and two with fatalities.