The Importance of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis in the Investigation of Road Traffic Accidents: A Case Report

Younis M. Albalooshi, Mohammed A. Eltabie


Bloodstain pattern analysis has become a field of specialization in Forensic sciences and plays an important role in the reconstruction of events at a crime scene. Research, books, and articles have been published on the analysis and interpretation of bloodstain patterns We present a case study of a road traffic accident in which bloodstain pattern analysis helped us to solve the discrepancy between reports produced by forensic examiners and by the forensic biology department. The case was of a 22-year-old man who died immediately and a 31- year-old woman who survived a road traffic accident. They were both found outside their overturned car and it was impossible to ascertain from initial observations which of the victims was driving the car at the time of the accident. An external examination of the man revealed multiple injuries, and the cause of his death was severe brain injury. The woman survived with a fracture of the forearm, dislocated clavicle bone, and other minor injuries. After initial examination of the car and based on the pattern of injuries the deceased received, forensic examiner concluded that the man was the driving the car at the time of accident. On the other hand, the forensic DNA analysis of bloodstains obtained from the driver's seat matched that of the woman, suggesting that she was the driver. This apparent discrepancy directed the forensic examiner to carry out a bloodstain pattern analysis on the driver's seat. The bloodstain pattern analysis helped resolve the discrepancy and enabled the investigators to identify the driver correctly. This case report emphasizes the importance of bloodstain pattern analysis in the reconstruction of cases involving road traffic accidents.


Forensic science, Forensic Medicine, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Clothing, Road Traffic Accident

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