I am responding to an article published on March 4, titled “Fiancee of hit-and-run victim fears plea deal.” I am the Accident Reconstructionist who investigated the crash portion of the case, as well as the officer who generated the reconstruction report. In this article, it was suggested that I worked with defense attorneys for the subject charged to “fudge” the numbers of the report, after which I prepared a “second accident reconstruction.” This could not be further from the truth.
A short time after preparing and submitting the only reconstruction report, I noticed a glaring error that had to be immediately corrected. I determined speeds in the crash by using mathematical equations that require values to be calculated in feet per second, and are subsequently converted into miles per hour so they can be more easily understandable. When I wrote in these equations, that conversion ended up multiplying those values instead of dividing them. This made the speed values listed in miles per hour higher than what they were in feet per second. I corrected this and added pages to the reconstruction report with a brief explanation as well as the corrected values. I also contacted the State’s Attorney’s Office and informed them of the error as well.
If one were to read the report, they would clearly see that none of the numbers used to calculate speeds were changed or altered; the issue was solely a unit conversion error, an error that was corrected before that information was used in any court proceeding. I have never, and would never, alter my work to convict or exonerate any individual investigated.
Officer Richard Becker #253
Accident Reconstructionist, Forest Park Police Department