Combined Accident Reconstruction Team (CART)

Purpose

The Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office Combined Accident Reconstruction Team (CART) was formed in July 2007 by Floyd County Prosecutor Keith A. Henderson to investigate all motor vehicle crash fatalities and motor vehicle crashes involving serious bodily injury. In some instances the CART Team may also be called upon to assist law enforcement agencies in the investigation of criminal incidents not involving motor vehicle crashes.

The purpose of the CART Team is to provide immediate support and expertise to first responders at qualifying incidents so that a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of a motor vehicle crash will be conducted. Thus, on-duty law enforcement personnel are released to regular patrol duties, and CART investigators are able to coordinate community resources and manpower more effectively and in a way that reduces any potential strain on any one law enforcement agency.

Personnel

CART members are drawn from the Floyd County Police Department, New Albany Police Department, and the Indiana State Police. The CART Team operates under the coordination of a member of the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office, which serves the community as the lead law enforcement agency in Floyd County. CART members are chosen for this duty as a result of advanced training or interest in motor vehicle crash investigations, their skills as investigators, and their ability to work within a team environment. Members are appointed to the CART Team with the approval of their agency-head and at the discretion of the Prosecutor’s Office and CART Team Leaders.

At the end of 2010, the CART Team consisted of two members from the Floyd County Police Department, two members from the New Albany Police Department, and four members from the Indiana State Police. At times, the Team has also drawn on additional resources from the Sellersburg Police Department and Clark County Police Department. The CART Team has assisted all of the above mentioned law enforcement agencies, as well as the Harrison County Police Department, in investigations related to serious motor vehicle crashes.

Training

Every CART Team member has received additional training in motor vehicle crash reconstruction and/or crash scene diagramming beyond that which is typically received upon graduation from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Two members of the Team have Accident Reconstruction Certification through the Institute of Police Technology and Management.

At minimum, every member has received cursory training in the use of the Total Station Measuring System, and most have received certification in the use of the Photogrammetry Digital Mapping System, with one member qualified at the instructor level. All CART members are certified breath test operators and certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Members receive annual legal updates and are kept current on developing legislative statutes and case law, both criminal and civil, as they pertain to motor vehicle crash investigations.

It is central to the goals and mission of the CART Team that additional instruction and continuing education is provided to each member as opportunities arise.

Recently, members of the CART Team conducted a study pertaining to several available mediums of accuracy and measurement including the Total Station Measuring System, Laser Mapping, and Digital Photogrammetry. The study demonstrated that Digital Photogrammetry was the most accurate method and provided for the safest and most effective roadway clearance rate. The results of this study were presented by a team member at the National Crash Reconstruction Conference in Atlanta, Georgia during 2010.

Additionally, one member of the Team has been credentialed as an expert witness in the area of Crash Investigation through the Floyd County Courts.

Equipment

The Floyd County CART Team uses Digital Photogrammetry as its primary means of motor vehicle crash scene diagramming. The three CART members certified in its use have been issued equipment by the State of Indiana through a grant award. In addition, the Team has two Sokkia Total Stations in its inventory–one is currently on loan from TRIMARC and one has been provided by the New Albany Police Department. The Team also utilizes one LTI Laser with angle encoder purchased by the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office. Through funding from the Floyd County Police Department, the Team recently acquired the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval Tool, which is used to assist in retrieving crash data from supported vehicles. The Team also uses computer software applicable to each of these mediums in collecting data. Other equipment utilized by Team members, such as tape measures, marking paint, and batteries, have been provided by Team members at their own expense.

Incidents

In 2014, the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office Combined Accident Reconstruction Team (CART) responded to eight motor vehicle crash incidents. Three of the eight incidents involved human fatalities, which were all investigated by the Team. One of the incidents resulted in criminal charges of Causing Death When Operating a Vehicle with a Schedule I or II Controlled Substance or its Metabolite in the Body (Class C Felony).

The CART Team investigation that resulted in criminal charges is currently pending in the Floyd County Circuit Court. Alcohol, speed, and controlled substances were found to be contributing factors in several of the eight motor vehicle crashes investigated by the CART Team. One incident investigated by the CART team involved a motorcycle and a semi-tractor trailer. As a result of the crash, the motorcyclist suffered severe head trauma. Another incident involved an ATV, which resulted in one human fatality. A juvenile bicyclist suffered severe head trauma as a result of another crash investigated by the CART Team.

Of the eight motor vehicle crashes investigated by the CART Team, three occurred on interstates and five on County roads. An aggregate total of the eight motor vehicle crashes investigated by the CART Team in 2014 resulted in three human fatalities and five people who sustained physical injuries.

  • Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance Coordinator

    A victim of crime in connection with criminal charges filed by this office may be eligible to receive assistance from our Victim's Assistance Coordinator.

    The Victim’s Assistance Coordinator provides information for victims through interactions with law enforcement, prosecutors and during court proceedings; by providing support and guidance to victims and their families; by informing victims of their rights; and by advising victims and/or their families of case developments and any upcoming trial court or hearing dates.