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CHP Hopes to Use DNA from Airbags to Solve Traffic Accident Mystery

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SOLANO COUNTY --

CHP officers investigate injury and deadly accidents every day. Sometimes fingerprints and blood can help piece together a crime.

"We like to think of that as giving a DNA stamp in time of when the airbag deployed, CHP Sgt. Chris Linehan said.

Now, for the first time, the Solano County CHP is trying to use DNA from deployed airbags.

"Yeah, it's unusual to say in traffic reconstruction, that we're using DNA," he said.

Well the airbag can save the lives of the driver and passengers, you can also hold valuable clues.

"It comes out with such force that sometimes skin, saliva, blood, and even hair can be deposited on the cloth fiber of the air bag," Linehan said.

Last July, a man was killed in a crash. Investigators believe he was the passenger and the man who survived was the driver. But, he says he wasn't.

Officers hope forensic evidence from the airbag will determine who was behind the wheel.

In another case, the CHP is trying to solve the mystery of a crash involving a rental car.

"The renter of the vehicle, the leasee of the vehicle, claims that he was not the driver, but identified who the driver was," Linehan said.

On Wednesday, the CHP convinced a judge to sign a search warrant in these two cases.

Investigators believe there is DNA on the deployed airbags.

Now they will have to wait for the results.