FAA Investigates Drone Spotted At Deadly Car Crash In Connecticut

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the use of a drone at the scene of a fatal car crash in Connecticut on Saturday.

The Hartford Police Department released a report Thursday stating that officers spotted a drone with an attached camera flying over the car crash, while bodies were still in the vehicles.

The drone could pose a threat to officer safety and public privacy, Police Lt. Brian Foley told WTIC FOX CT.

“Drones, not being helicopters, they’re much smaller, can have access to aerial places that traditional helicopters and airplanes do not,” said Hartford Attorney Corey Brinson.

“How do we balance this new technology? Do we allow more of an intrusion into more traditional private moments like a tragic car accident?" Brinson added. "Or do we say, ‘Well, this is a new technology and the public is going to have to adapt?’”

Officers said they questioned the man operating the drone, but no arrest was made.

The incident is of special interest to the FAA because the drone might have been illegal. The HPD says it is against FAA regulations for a drone to be operated for commercial use.

“The presence of a drone at a crime scene for journalistic purposes is in violation of FAA regulations,” the report said.

Police said the bodies were not visible to the drone’s camera, but that won’t always be the case. There are also very sensitive police matters that could be captured by drones.

“These drones will be able to broadcast live from active shooters or SWAT team tactical units. … (It’s) very, very concerning to law enforcement because it could give the bad guys an upper hand,” said Brinson.

The FAA investigation is ongoing.

“We are not making a statement today. We are investigating,” FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette told TheBlaze in a statement Friday.

Sources: WTIC FOX CT, TheBlaze