Anatomy of a crash test

Researchers staged a violent crash between a pickup truck and a bicycle Friday in an ongoing effort to help police hone their collision investigation techniques.

Ottawa police, Carleton University working to improve crash reconstruction

Ottawa police say this year's crash test dummy and vehicle are improved from years past, with better sensors than before. (David Richard/CBC)

A speeding pickup truck rear-ended a bicycle near the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday, but no one was hurt — the violent collision and ensuing police investigation were staged as part of an ongoing research partnership.

The Ottawa Police Service's collision investigation unit and Carleton University's department of mechanical and aerospace engineering have been staging these startlingly life-like crash tests for seven years.

They're analyzing precisely what happens during such an event to help investigators hone their reconstruction techniques.

Here's how it looked.

Step 1: The setup

Step 2: The approach

Step 3: The crash

Step 4: The aftermath