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Sometimes, the benefit of creating a virtual 3D Working Model lies in the ability to perform analyses within the computer that simply cannot be performed within the real world scene. Reconstruction of accidents that occurred during construction of a project present a unique challenge. By their very nature, construction sites change dramatically over time.

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3D Laser Scanning is PSI’s go-to tool for accurately documenting large and complex accident and crime scenes for many reasons. As illustrated in previous posts, often the primary benefit is the ability to preserve a complex scene and all of its physical evidence in perpetuity, allowing in-depth analysis at a later date within the computer. Sometimes, the benefit of creating a virtual 3D Working Model lies in the ability to perform analyses within the computer that simply cannot be performed within the real world scene. This new PSI case study illustrates just such a scenario.

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An unarmed, young man is shot in the back as he is running away by a police officer. The officer states that the deceased had fallen and was in the process of turning towards the officer with a weapon in his hand when the officer elected to fire, claiming self-defense. PSI was retained to reconstruct the events based upon the physical evidence, the testimony of the officer and other eye witnesses. The results of the exhaustive analysis showed that the officers’ statements were not supported by the evidence.

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Officer-Involved Shooting, (OIS) cases are commonly contentious and emotionally charged affairs. Often the loss of a loved one, meets the potential for massive financial penalties on the other, as each side is thoroughly vested in their case.

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On Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 a jury found the 38-year-old Reno man guilty of murder and seven other felonies stemming from a car chase that ended in a hail of bullets from Wallin-Reed’s AR-15 assault rifle. Gregory Chad Wallin-Reed will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for the July 2011 shooting death of Rory McGuire. This case presented two distinct challenges...

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In the analysis of vehicle accidents, one of the most important sources of insight is the physical evidence left behind in the form of vehicle deformation, often referred to as “crush”. The amount and location of the damage to the vehicles exterior and interior provide the reconstruction expert with detailed data regarding the energy expended in the collision. This in turn can be used to calculate speeds at impact. When combined with braking evidence, critical data such as speed and location at onset of braking and when a hazard was first recognized can be determined.

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Julia Bertoli was crossing an intersection with three high school friends in Sebastopol, Calif., on June 3, 2009, when the 15-year-old was struck by a car. The impact—which threw Bertoli approximately 30 feet in the air and 40 feet down the roadway—resulted in traumatic brain and bodily injury. It was a bright, sunny day when the accident occurred. The teenagers were using the designated crosswalk. There were no line-of-sight obstructions. Yet the driver, who was traveling within the speed limit, said she never saw the pedestrians. After reviewing the details of the case, Bertoli’s attorney pinned the cause of the crash on significantly overgrown trees that violated city, county and state codes. To build his $20 million case against the city and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Bertoli’s attorney turned to Craig Fries...

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Are you a forensic consultant looking for some tricks and tips on how to become an expert witness, educational opportunities or networking opportunities? Are you an attorney looking for a source of experts in a wide range of areas for your complex litigation? I am in the former category and have found what I was looking for by attending and becoming a member of the Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA) -

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PSI’s use of the 3D Working Model has provided us with a wide array of opportunities to perform very precise analyses and illustrate the results at trial. In a recent case, PSI employed the Working Model and 3D Laser Scanning to analyze and illustrate the effects of adjacent trees in shading a crosswalk at the time of impact in a serious pedestrian v auto impact.

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After much ado and late hours in the lab crunching numbers, PSI has completed its Ballistic Trajectory Study and Analysis. Conceived to test a working theory I first used in a capital punishment case in 2010, this study aimed to determine just how accurately could we predict a shooters location when multiple rounds were fired and their impact sites were available for analysis. In many of our cases, the shooter fires more than one round and it seemed clear in analyzing the data in these cases that there was a benefit to looking at the shot pattern as a whole, as opposed to using each shot individually.

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