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DigitalBlue's avatar

Who cleans up the blood after a serious auto accident? How do junkyards prep vehicles on their lot?

Asked by DigitalBlue (7102points) July 17th, 2012

My husband made a trip to the junkyard today, looking for a cheap part for his truck. He observed that, although many of the vehicles in the yard had obviously been in wrecks or some that appeared to have been cut open with the jaws of life – that none of the vehicles had so much as a hint of blood. He noticed, after seeing a spot where it appeared that someone’s head had hit the windshield, but that there wasn’t a trace of blood anywhere in the car, and so he started paying closer attention.

It would make sense that there be some type of protocol for cleaning up blood after an accident, but who does that? Do they only clean up the scene of the incident, or do they also clean up hazardous material within the vehicle itself?

Do junkyards have a cleaning process for cars that come in?

Is the car cleaned of biological material in the case of a very serious, or fatal car accident (assuming that, in some situations, there would be more than just blood, like digits or lots of tissue, even brain matter, urine, feces)? Who does that?

Are there any other precautions that junkyards take when bringing in new cars, or are they basically just loaded onto the lot and left there?

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17 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh wow, I’ve never even thought about this. I will be following this with great interest!

DigitalBlue's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I know, he came in and asked me about it, and now it is driving me crazy. I really want to know! Hoping jellies can shed some light.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

So, I asked my husband if he knew about this, and apparently there are “bio cleanup” companies that do this. Anytime there’s been an accident, these companies come out and clean out the entire car before it’s either fixed or junked.

Edit to add: I found something for you. How interesting! I never even gave that aspect of an accident a moment’s thought.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate that’s what I thought, I knew that something like that was used for at least scene cleanup.
Does he know how it works? Do they take the car to them? Do they do it at the junkyard? Are they called in for every accident where there is blood, even if it is just a small amount, but the car is totaled? I have a zillion questions.

Kayak8's avatar

A friend of mine worked at a car wash with a detail shop and they regularly got cars in that had been the focus of a crime scene or suicide. Most folks won’t pay the money for a fancy biohazard company to come out and do it for a junker. I only know about it because I work in public health and teach biohazard training and was asked to talk to folks at the car wash because of the frequency of “messy” vehicles they received for detailing.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think they go to wherever the car is located. He doesn’t know if it’s for every bloody accident or not.

LOL! “Hoarder/Gross Filth” is listed on that website. :D

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Kayak8 oh man, that is horrifying. My husband thought it was unlikely that they just “washed” them at the junkyard, because blood would be difficult to remove from things like leather and whatnot, I hadn’t even thought of just going to a regular car wash. I hope the people detailing cars like that make a lot of money. :\

Sunny2's avatar

Automobile accidents on city streets here are usually followed by a hook and ladder fire truck. I wondered why until the car(s) were cleared from the street. Then the hook and ladder guys cleaned up. I have no idea if that is what is done elsewhere. It may be a city by city thing.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Sunny2 did you witness the clean up? I can’t even really imagine how they do that. They certainly can’t just hose it off into the grass.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I have been in a home like that, and I definitely thought that there was no way a regular person could safely clean it up. It makes sense that they would call places like this in to clean homes that have gotten way out of hand. Feces, urine, mold, etc… are all hazardous, but especially in a closed space. Gah, I am still traumatized by that experience.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@DigitalBlue Thankfully, I’ve never personally been in a hoarder’s home; I’ve only seen them on that show.

Sunny2's avatar

@DigitalBlue Yes, I saw it all. They swept up all the glass and metal and then hosed down the street. No blood. Very exciting. (not)

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

There was a pretty good movie on this topic a few years ago: ”Sunshine Cleaning

DigitalBlue's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale I’ve seen that movie, but I’ve heard that it was incredibly inaccurate… so I was hoping to learn more. Especially about the cars, specifically. I liked that movie, though.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Yeah, I don’t remember them cleaning out cars in the movie. Now I’m wondering what was inaccurate about it…? I liked it too, though.

zenvelo's avatar

It’s not just blood, accident victims often lose control of their bowels and that needs clean up too.

snowberry's avatar

@DigitalBlue, Hotel laundries are also equipped to deal with feces, blood, and other bodily emissions. Besides the predictable sanitizing chemicals, there also is a very strong hydrogen peroxide that they use to remove blood.

Sorry for the super-long post, but this copy-and-paste from the website above answers many of the questions asked here (and you’re right, it is fascinating):

“Crime Scene Clean Up is very specialized and is our primary service. We have experience in dealing with all aspects of bio recovery and cleaning in this field. Our supervisors and crews are experts possessing all the necessary licensing, experience, and skills to perform these services. Many different jobs fall under the category of crime scene cleanup, this includes murder cleanup, suicide, and the cleaning of finger printing dust or blood cleanup. In many cases we deal with people who have never needed help with a crime scene cleanup, so we know how to assist you. We understand that you have a lot of questions and you need an immediate response team, so rest assured we have crime scene cleanup experts ready to help you. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Trauma Scene Clean Up consists of many of the same elements that are present in a crime scene cleanup. In most cases this will be an accident cleanup job or a situation in which somebody is severely injured and blood and other bio hazardous material may need to be cleaned. We handle every aspect of the cleanup from coordinating with the family, to cleaning quickly, efficiently and finally disposing of the bio hazardous waste. We have worked with federal, state, city, local government, law enforcement agencies, and many families nationwide. Please contact us today for your trauma scene cleanup needs.

Unattended Death Clean Up occurs when a person passes away and the body is not found for a period of days to weeks. The discovery of the body can be a shock to the family. Add to that the necessity of cleaning the premises and it can be overwhelming for any family. In some cases the unattended death may occur in an apartment complex or hotel in which case often the manager needs to deal with it. We understand how to properly clean the scene, deal with decomposition clean up, handling of bodily fluids which may have contaminated bed sheets, mattresses, floors, rugs and other furniture. These are all things which need to be considered to ensure the property is safe for a new tenant after the unattended death clean up is completed.

Unattended death cleanup jobs are often covered by insurance. Many of our customers including businesses and cities officials don’t realize this and need help understanding how this is covered. Our experts will help you deal with these matters step by step. They will always be friendly, professional, and courteous. Please give us a call today for your unattended death cleanup or your death scene cleanup. It is our goal to help you get through this unfortunate situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Suicide cleanup in each case is a terrible situation. The family is often grief stricken and confused. Not only are they trying to deal with the loss of a loved one, but they are shocked and confused about why he/she chose to take their own life. Add to this that after the police and EMTs leave, they have to deal with the aftermath. The bodily fluids and blood cleanup are bad enough to deal with as it is, but to know that it comes from your loved one is just too hard. Let our professionals handle it. Not only will they be able to handle any and all bio hazardous materials, but they will remove the evidence of this terrible event so the family will not have to deal with it. Our company specializes in this type of trauma scene, suicide cleanup and understands a family’s grief. We have worked with people in your situation before and we will be understanding, compassionate and discrete. Your situation maybe covered under you insurance and we can help you in dealing with the insurance company.

These services are available for homeowners, apartments, business owners, property management companies, shopping malls, mass transportation services, medical examiner, police departments, health departments, school boards, colleges, local, state, and federal agencies in Amarillo, Arlington, Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Garland, Houston, Irving, Laredo, Lubbock, Plano San Antonio, Waco and Tyler Texas.

We will do everything in our power to assist you. We will work with you, your insurance carrier, or your state victim’s assistance program. We will work hard to make sure that you do not get denied the services you are entitled to.

Our Bio Recovery Services are also available in Nashville, Knoxville, Bristol, Jackson, Chattanooga, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Kingsport, Johnson City Tennessee, Atlanta, Macon, Athens, Savannah Georgia, Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Raleigh North Carolina, Bowling Green, Paducah, Louisville, Lexington Kentucky, Spartanburg, Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Florence, Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery Alabama, Roanoke, Richmond, Bristol, Manassas Virginia, Baltimore Maryland, Chicago Illinois, New Orleans, Baton Rouge Louisiana, Las Vegas Nevada, Tulsa, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, Portland Oregon, Seattle Washington, Washington DC, Little Rock Arkansas, Mississippi, and their surrounding areas.

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