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Old 07-02-2003, 08:34   #1 (permalink)
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United States:Ford police car involved in fatal crash is studied

July 2, 2003
ASSOCIATED PRESS

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- With lawyers and police watching, federal inspectors began a supervised dissection Tuesday of the crumpled and charred remains of a Ford Crown Victoria police car involved in a fatal accident.

Missouri State Highway Trooper Michael Newton, 25, was killed while making a traffic stop on I-70 last month when his car was rear-ended by a pickup truck and he became trapped inside the burning vehicle.

Lawsuits by Newton's family and the injured motorist he had stopped contend the location of the Crown Victoria's fuel tank was partly to blame for the fire.

The car autopsy by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attracted not only Ford officials and insurance company representatives, but plaintiffs' lawyers from around the country. Police from Arizona, Florida and North Carolina also were expected to view the dissection.
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