Ask Trooper Steve: What defines a crash witness?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked, “What defines a crash witness?”

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He said there is a combination of methods when determining what happened at a crash scene, and one of those methods is interviewing witnesses.

But, not everyone who thinks they are a witness is actually a witness.

“For example, someone who was at the crash scene when the crash occurred may not be deemed a necessary witness. Or all too often, just because you hear something, obviously you did not see something,” Trooper Steve said. “There’s also what law enforcement considers a bias witness. This type of witness is determined throughout the interview process, and may be interviewed but not necessarily taken into fact during the investigation.”

Trooper Steve said an example of this is someone who was in the passenger seat of a car but was sleeping when the crash occurred.

“A witness is truly someone who was able to observe the crash from start to finish. Of course, drivers involved are also taken into account so that the crash can be pieced together,” he said. “Crashes can be an emotional experience for those involved, understanding the investigation process can lower some of those stresses. If you feel you have witnessed a crash, ensure your voice is heard to law enforcement. However, don’t be offended if you are not listed on the crash report.”

If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, email him at

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About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.