Death Due to Decapitation in Two Motorcyclists: A Description of a Unique Case and a Brief Review of the Literature

This article presents the forensic report of a motorcycle crash in which both driver and passenger were decapitated. The authors describe the autopsy, scene inspection, and a physics study of the crash, which supported crash reconstruction efforts. A plastic cable that had detached from a timber-transporting machine that was along the side of the road, whipped and hit the two motorcyclists, who were riding a BMW 1200Y down a mountain road at moderate speed. The impact resulted in the complete severing of both riders' heads. The authors stress that the involvement of different scientists in this investigation was vital to understanding the dynamics of the crash. This case differs from previously-reported cases of decapitations related to vehicle crashes, which typically involve high speed and/or impact with a fixed object.


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  • Accession Number: 01682921
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 2 2018 4:37PM