Accident Reconstruction - Missouri Department of Transportation

Report
Brian O. Reeves
ACTAR #2398
Objectives
Not all crash reports are the same
– STARS Report
– Reconstruction Report
Different officers do different reports
– Patrol Officer
– Traffic Officer
– Reconstructionist
Objectives
Why are these distinctions important
– What can I expect
– What are the limitations of the report/information
Why is this important to you
– What is expected of me and what is needed to
produce my work product
What kind of report do
you have?
STARS
Report
Reconstruction
Report
What is a STARS Report
STARS REPORT
• State mandated on State Form
– Standardized across the state
• Filled out by Law Enforcement
– For a statistical analysis
– As a service to the community
– Looking for Traffic Violations
– Attempting to location problems
STARS REPORT IN 2012
• National there were 36,200 fatal crashes
• In Missouri
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There were 137,384 reports filed with MSHP
There were 826 persons killed in 762 crashes
SPD filed 5% of these reports (6,889)
Springfield PD 22 fatal crashes
Columbia PD 5 fatal crashes
Kansas City PD 69 Fatal crash (highest in the state)
STARS REPORT
Criteria for completion:
At least one motor vehicle in transport
At least one harmful event (Damage or Injury)
Unintentional act
Not a result of a Cataclysm
Not initiated by aircraft or watercraft
STARS REPORT
Mostly a checkbox and fill in the blank form
– Captures standard information
• Person information
• Vehicle information
• Location information
• Time information
• Damage and Injury information
– Little room for follow-up
– Ten to twenty minutes investigation
Who fills out the STARS?
• A Street Officer
– A Generalist with a long list of skills, too
long to list here
– A Criminal Investigator
• So who is this person…
–According to Paul Harvey
POLICEMEN
• Tied to the radio for his next assignment
– There is typically always one waiting
• Crash Resources
– A 192 page manual for a 3 page report
– One week of training in the academy
– He might know
S=
30 x D x f
Policemen
Do they investigate Fatal Crashes?
• Not if they can help it
• Usually on a very limited bases
• One of the main criteria is
– Are the going to be charges filed?
POLICEMEN
• SINGLE VEHICLE SINGLE OCCUPANT FATAL
– It’s all his because there are no charges
– Will typically be asked…
• What is taking so long?
• When can the road be re-opened?
– Its just a crash report for the insurance
company
Who is a Reconstructionist?
A Police Specialist
– Formalized Crash Investigation Training
• Basic
• Advanced
• Reconstruction
– Other Specialty Schools
• Human Factors
• Motorcycle / Pedestrian
• Commercial Motor Vehicle • Event Data Recorder
• Forensic Mapping
• Photography
• Occupant Kinematics
• Etc.
Reconstructionist
Specialized Equipment
– Total Station
– Camera
– EDR Equipment
– Scene marking tools
– Street closure devices
Reconstructionist
• Resources include:
– Reference material from specialized training
– Formula books
– Other team members
– Time
– Experience
– Desire to get it right
What is this Desire?
Reconstructionist
• Some are not Law Enforcement
• Formal Education
–Physics
–Engineering
–Mathematics
The Reconstruction Report
A Criminal Investigation
– 1st Degree Murder
– 2nd Degree Murder
– Involuntary Manslaughter
– Careless and Imprudent Driving
The Reconstruction Report
Includes but not limited to:
– Scale Diagram (Baseline Coordinate or Triangulation Measurements)
– Event Data Recorder (EDR) Download
– Witness statements
– Follow-up Investigation
– Photographs
– Probable contributing circumstances
explained
The Reconstruction Report
• Crime scene documentation
– DNA
– Finger Prints
– Photography
– Forensic Scale Diagram (Total Station)
– Physics (Analysis of Vehicle Dynamics)
– Physical Evidence
The Reconstruction Report
–Sequence of events
–Confirmation of statements through
• Analysis
• Physical Evidence
• EDR
• Photography
• Scale Diagram
• Lab Analysis
The Reconstruction Report
• A Technical Report
• Opinion based on the totality of the
information available at the time
• Takes more time to complete
Criteria for Reconstruction
• Every agency has there own
– As vague as what ever the Traffic Section
Commanders wants done
– As broad as every thing that is not a single vehicle
single occupants fatal crash
– As specific as three or more fatalities, CMV,
Transport conveyances of 15 passengers or more,
Hazardous material transport, school buses, or
government owned vehicles
Do the lines blur between the two
• Late death
– 30 day Rule
• Lack of Resources
– Single vehicle single occupant
– Other
• Reconstruction
– Technical vs Full Reconstruction
Do the lines blur between the two
• Information gathered to allow for
reconstruction at a later point
• Peer Review
ACTAR
• Accreditation
Commission for Traffic
Accident
Reconstruction
• Members include
– Police Officers
– Engineers
– And other from the
reconstruction
community
ACTAR
1985 the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA)
Provided money to come up with guidelines
for standardized training in the field of
accident reconstruction
– Task force was formed which was made up of
– Accident Reconstructionists
– Engineers
– Police Officers
– Educators
– Attorneys
ACTAR
In 1990 all the work paid off
ACTAR
• Person has shown a minimum level of
proficiency by passing the accreditation test
• Requires 80 hours of continuing education
each five years of accreditation
Reconstruction Environment
Criminal
Civil
Criminal
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Burden of proof
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
Highest standard used as the burden of proof
There is no plausible reason to believe
otherwise
Criminal
Why the higher Burdon of Proof?
• The Cost is not only monetary
• Removal of Constitutions Rights
• Removal of personal Liberty
• Jail or Prison
Civil
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Fault
What ifs
Aggravating and mitigating circumstances
Successful litigation equals money and sanctions
Burden of proof
Preponderance of the evidence, also known as
balance of probabilities is the standard required
in most civil case
• The standard is met if the proposition is more
likely to be true than not true
REVIEW
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What have you been given?
Who Prepared it?
For what Purpose?
What do I need?
CONCLUSION
• STARS Report vs Reconstruction
• Apples vs Oranges
• Insert hand drawn vs total station drawing
• Contact Information:
Brian O. Reeves
417-343-6908
[email protected]

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