Behind the Scenes

Story's behind the photos

Photos tell stories and depending on the angle you are viewing the collision from, will determine part of the story.  If you look at several photos of the same collision viewed from different angles, a story should come to you by way of evidence that is visible.  Nonetheless, just looking at photos may not always tell the whole story.  Only a small portion of the story is trapped within these images, but the heartfelt sadness and sorrow is never seen but certainly felt.  Our team of experts  have not only investigated these scenes but also dealt with the people behind these images and know how life altering a collision can be.  Our team is committed to bringing closure to families relating to collisions whether it is a low speed impact collision or a fatality.  We have been there, taken the photos, documented the scene, provided answers for families, lawyers and the Courts.  We can help find the answers you need BECAUSE of that 'on scene' experience.  That's what sets us apart from other companies, that ability to see behind the scenes.  Contact us to find out how we can help.


This collision occurred on Highway 99 just south of Whister British Columbia.  The driver in the white Volkswagon had been traveling north to get to work in Whistler and passed several cars along the way.  The roads were wet and traction limited.  The driver lost control of the vehicle and struck a van (which had been traveling south) that is further up in this scene (not visible in the photo), spun and struck the red Volkswagon (which had also been traveling south).  The left rear (drivers side) portion of the white Volkswagon struck the front of the red Volkswagon.  Unfortunately the driver of the white Volkswagon died upon impact.  Vehicle dynamics, occupant kinematics, seat belt use, point of impact were all determined at this scene.  The tire marks visible in the white Volkswagons' lane are post primary collision with the van, showing the rotation of the white Volkswagon into the red Volkswagons' lane.

Sea to Sky Highway

This collision occurred on Highway 99, between Whistler and Vancouver in British Columbia right before the Olympics were to be announced for Vancouver when there was quite a bit of concern that the highway was considered 'dangerous', even to the point that Maclean's ran it on the front cover of their magazine with a feature on Page 14 .  This crash was a triple fatality.  Two people died in the red Camaro and one died in the green van.  Serious injuries reported from everyone.  The story is this: a group of friends were in the Vancouver area the night before, decided to drive up to Whistler, stayed up all night and wanted to be home before their parents knew they were gone.  On the ride back, the red Camaro was in the lead, the silver Acura following.  At a crest of a hill, on the apex of the curve, the red Camaro lost control (road marks coming in from the right to the left on a roughly 45 degree angle) and slammed into the minivan carrying workers going to Whistler.  The driver of the silver Acura reacts to the situation  slamming on the brakes (heavy braking applied with ABS braking, leaving overlap skid mark to the scene).  The collision ensues with 13 people injured and three dead.  Speed determination was made on both the Camaro and the Acura using conventional mathematics.  Both were well in excess of the posted speed limits and advisory speed limit for this curve.  The point of impact was determined to be in the vans lane.  This was the only accessible road to Whistler and the crash occurred in the early morning, so pressure was there to not only investigate the scene but to open the road as quickly as possible.  This went to trial with a conviction on both drivers of the Camaro and the Acura even with defence hiring an expert engineer to testify.  Defence launched an appeal but the conviction was upheld citing that the evidence provided by Cst Lee Hamilton was more heavily weighted because of scene attendance and testing completed at the scene.

Trans Canada Hwy Sicamous, BC

A collision with a tractor trailer or commercial vehicle normally ends in massive destruction and unfortunately death.  In this particular collision, a death, miraculously, did not occur.  The driver of the silver pontiac had been passing people on double solid yellow lines and decided to do so on a curve but met head on with this commercial vehicle.  Point of impact was an issue as liability was of concern by the trucking company.  The collision was determined to be in the trucks lane, along with a high speed from the silver pontiac which put the liability on the driver of the pontiac, not the trucking company.  This saved the trucking company thousands of dollars.  The speed was determined from the pontiac in a couple of ways; using mathematics and the CDR (Crash Data Recorder) download information.  Point of impact, speed determination, seat belt usage and vehicle dynamics were all utilized in this investigation.

Kelowna, BC

This is a collision between a white Neon and a cyclist.  The cyclist was traveling from right to left of the vehicle and after being struck, the cyclist landed predominantly on the roof/windshield of the Neon.  The next photo demonstrate the importance of matching.  This was a low speed impact with no doubting that the vehicle struck this bicycle.  The cyclist had been crossing on a red light in a crosswalk and not following the rules of the road for cyclists.  Point of impact and speed were calculated on this file with the use of mathematics for a slide to stop and how far the cyclist had been 'thrown'.

The final rest position of the truck involved in the collision.

Matching the bike with the damage to the vehicle assisted which corroborated the drivers statement.

Lake Country, BC

Sometimes the driver can be easily identified at the scene while other times it is very confusing.

Sometimes the driver can be easily identified at the scene while other times it is very confusing.  When people are already out of the car and no one witnessed the crash and no one wishes to identify the driver or identifies themselves as the driver, other measures need to be used.  In this case, it might be obvious that the passenger would have sustained a head injury while striking their head on the windshield, but upon closer examination, the pushed out portion of the windshield (from the inside) was going in a direction from the drivers seat towards the passengers' seat.  Without seeing the rest of the damage to the car, the principal direction of force was on the right front corner which means that everyone inside the vehicle would travel that way (even if belted in - just not as far).  The drivers' seat belt was checked and compared to the passengers' seat belt, there was 'loading' (an indication that the seatbelt was worn during a crash) on the passengers side but not the drivers side.  Two occupants - one had a head injury, the other didn't.  Hair follicles were seized from the windshield and the person with the head injury with DNA later identified, the driver was convicted on the charges laid.  Vehicle dynamics, vehicle damage, seat belt usage and occupant kinematics were all used during this investigation.

Sea to Sky Highway, BC

Another collision on Highway 99 in between Whistler and Squamish.  This was a narrow, twisty, windy part of the road that had limited room for error (that has since been reconstructed for the Olympics).  The roads were dry this day and a family of five were in the blue Cadillac.  The driver had passed several vehicles prior to getting into this small area of the highway when it lost control and struck the pick up going in the opposite direction.  Both parents were lost in the collision in the blue Cadillac but oddly enough, one of the parents was in the back passenger seat.  That parent was wearing an old lap belt that upon impact, slid over top of their hips while their body was forced downward and forward, causing major damage to their major organs.  Point of impact, speed calculation, seat belt usage and occupant kinematics were all investigated on this file.  (The kids were ok and sustained very few injuries because they were belted in properly).

West Kelowna, BC

This is a good example of a slide to stop with overlapping tire marks from front/rear tires.  The green van tried to make a left in front of the white pickup truck but failed to complete that maneuver.  The driver of the white pickup truck took evasive action by applying a heavy brake application and leaving this set of skid marks.  Unfortunately the passenger in the green van passed away.  Speed determination, point of impact, seat belt use and CDR (Crash Data Recorder) information were all utilized to assist in this investigation.

Kelowna, BC

The stolen red Camaro ripped around the streets in Kelowna until it was spotted by a Police Officer who subsequently tried to stop the vehicle.  Speeds were high, the driving erratic, so the call was made to end the pursuit but the driver of the camaro chose to continue to drive recklessly ultimately ending in this horrific crash where a taxi carrying a passenger attempted to make a left turn in front of the camaro.  The road design was such that, as the taxi initiated their turn they could not see over the crest of the hill in the opposite direction, believing the way was clear,  they turned.  What they did not know was that a camaro was driving at such a high rate of speed believing he was still being 'chased' by the police.   Using time distance formulas after the known speed was calculated, the crash was deemed inevitable.  After impact,  the cab hit the lamp standard and left yellow paint (from the cab) 9 feet up the post from ground level.The passenger in the cab perished and the driver of the camaro was arrested and convicted.  Speed calculations, vehicle dynamics, time distance, surveying were all part of the investigation for this crash. 

Kelowna, BC

After impact,  the cab hit the lamp standard and left yellow paint (from the cab) 9 feet up the post from ground level.The passenger in the cab perished and the driver of the camaro was arrested and convicted.  Speed calculations, vehicle dynamics, time distance, surveying were all part of the investigation for this crash. 

The Taxis' final rest position on top of the Camaro.

Scaled drawing of the scene.

Kelowna, BC

This concrete truck rolled over on a sharp curve in Kelowna.  Note the heavy tire marks left while it was rolling and the impact marks once the truck had flopped completely over onto its left side.  Critical curve speed was determined for this configuration of a vehicle at this curve, plus a minimum speed for the truck.  No major injuries were sustained in this crash but liability is an issue for the trucking company as clearly their driver rolled their vehicle but it was important to set out that it was speed, not a faulty truck that was the cause.

Northern BC

This vehicle was traveling east on Highway 16 when it crossed the double solid yellow line striking the motor home in the next photo.  The driver of this vehicle perished but both occupants of the motor home lived having sustained major injuries.  There were very few marks to go by on the road as neither driver had much time to take any evasive actions to avoid each other.  Both vehicles hit at full speed with the limit being 90 km/h.   It is notable that the damage to the vehicle is mostly on the drivers side with deformation at the back of the vehicle going from right to left indicating that there may have been an attempt to steer right prior to the crash.

Northern BC

It was determined that the vehicle was passing a vehicle and did not see the motor home.  The motor home took the impact on the drivers side pushing the vehicle rearward.