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Publication Details

TitleFamilial Vehicular Murder-Suicide
AuthorsByard RW, O'Donovan S, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ
Year2017
TypeJournal Article
AbstractA certain number of single vehicle crashes into stationary roadside objects such as trees, are thought to be occult suicides. However is it possible that some cases of multiple deaths within a family in similar crashes are due to unrecognized familial murder-suicides? A 39-year-old women and her 11-year-old daughter are reported who died of injuries following a vehicle impact with a tree. Unusual behaviour of the mother leading up to the crash, and assessment at the scene, raised the possibility of this being a non-accidental event. However, difficulties in retrospectively determining the intent of a driver in a vehicle crash, and the non-recording of, or lack of separate coding for murder-suicides on registers, make determination of the incidence of these types of events extremely difficult. It may be that this is a subcategory of murder-suicide that is under-diagnosed and so is not being registered on central motor vehicle crash databases.
Journal TitleJournal of Forensic Sciences
Journal Volume (Issue)online, doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13667

Reference
Byard RW, O'Donovan S, van den Heuvel C, Baldock MRJ (2017) 'Familial Vehicular Murder-Suicide', Journal of Forensic Sciences, online, doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13667.