Posts Tagged ‘State Patrol’

Trainer Finds Crash Zone Software Highly Intuitive

Neal Trantham, owner of Nebraska Accident Reconstruction, tried other diagramming software programs before deciding which one to use in the accident reconstruction classes he teaches. Trantham, who also is a law enforcement officer with the State of Nebraska, says students in his classes span a broad spectrum of talents and skills from young officers just beginning their careers to officers about to retire.

“My biggest challenge is making these classes interesting and keeping them flowing so people at both ends of the spectrum don’t feel the class is going too fast or too slow,” Trantham said. To maintain this ‘flow’ of instruction, Trantham chose The Crash Zone, from The CAD Zone, Inc. ( ). He felt The Crash Zone was the most intuitive to grasp of several drawing programs he surveyed, meaning students could be successfully creating diagrams very quickly.

Defending Your Scene Diagrams in Court

As an investigator, you may often be called upon to present your findings in the courtroom in front of a skeptical jury and an attorney who would just love to prove you wrong.  Your diagrams of the scene are an important part of your investigation and you want to make sure you can prove they are completely accurate. So, what are some rules to follow for ensuring that your methodology for preparing a diagram and diagramming the scene itself will be credible enough to withstand courtroom scrutiny?

Pocket PC Data Collector Ideal for Mapping Crash Scenes

Pocket Zone data collector

Pocket Zone on a TDS Recon

There is plenty for the investigator to do at the scene of a major crash, not the least which involves taking many precise measurements of vehicle locations, debris, skid marks, and other evidence. These measurements are critical in reconstructing the crash and creating the detailed diagrams of the scene that may become part of a courtroom presentation. In years past, taking and recording all the necessary measurements could require multiple officers and take hours of time, resulting in long road closures.

One advantage investigators have today is the availability of laser measurement systems and total stations that can streamline the process of taking these measurements. The Pocket Zone™, data collection software, is used by the officer to capture all the measurements at the scene. Back at the office, the 3D point coordinates are uploaded into The Crash Zone™,crash scene drawing software, where the final diagram is completed. This technology greatly speeds up the process of mapping a crash and diagramming the scene. Some equipment can even be operated by a single officer.

Reconstructionists Play Pivotal Role At Remote Crash Scenes

Vehicular accidents unfortunately don’t occur in just one locale. They strike every hour, on the hour, in the most populous areas of a state as well as in the remotest. The challenge is that the more remote the accident scene, chances are high that the expertise needed to fully investigate crash scenes will be sparse. Nevertheless, most cases involving a crash usually end up in court, making it essential to examine the crash scene thoroughly and generate a detailed diagram that will present the most likely sequence of events for a jury.


Almost invariably, well trained reconstructionists investigate and document crash scenes, but usually not far from their base of operation. When accidents occur in remote parts of a state, the investigating officer or team may not include a reconstructionist. Since the scene still must be investigated, mapped and diagrammed, these documentation steps can be more challenging.