Hackensack River Bridge
The Lincoln Highway Bridge
that carries Routes 1 and 9 across the Hackensack River in Jersey
City was struck by a mail truck and knocked out a traffic barrier
that swings across the roadway and rendered it out of service.
A second traffic safety gate and alarm bells were also broken.
In an emergency plan, Jersey City police officers blocked traffic
and placed flares to warn motorist of the danger. The bridge operator
watched as two officers placed flares on the bridge and then got
back into their truck. Moments earlier, the chief bridge operator
went down to the bridge deck to speak to two other police officers.
He informed them a tugboat was waiting to pass and the bridge would
be open for 15-20 minutes – he then went back
upstairs to his office.
The Captain of the tugboat received word from the bridge operator
that the deck was being lifted. As he was getting closer to the bridge,
he noticed a vehicle move toward the center of the bridge. As the
bridge deck rose quietly, an emergency truck in which two police
officers were in was starting to move slowly forward. Other police
officers began running after the truck, shouting and waving flashing
lights. The truck began to pick-up speed as it approached the center
of the bridge but the deck was 78 feet in the air.
The Captain of the tugboat watched in horror as the truck arced
off the edge of the bridge and plunged nose first toward the water,
flipped over and sank immediately. As the bridge operator grabbed
a life preserver and a rope, he saw no sign of the truck or the officers.
The Captain of the tugboat used their spotlights to look for survivors
but saw no one. Within minutes, the Coast Guard, police and rescue
vehicles, boats and divers searched frantically in the thick fog
About 90 minutes later, they
recovered one officer’s body.
The body of the second officer was found four days later by a New
York City police diver.
At the request of the Jersey City Police Department Hard Facts
was retained to assist in their investigation of the matter. Our
services included an examination of the truck to determine if any
mechanical or electrical defects contributed to this loss.
Egg Harbor Township
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s
Office requested our assistance in the Egg Harbor Township tragedy
where an SUV plowed into a house and landed on a sleeping couple
in their bed.
Authorities said the driver was unable to back the truck out of
the house but tried to escape on foot before being caught by bystanders
Our investigation included ascertaining the mechanical integrity
of the vehicle.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES WORTH WATCHING
Even though four-wheel steering
failed on compact Japanese cars in the 1980s and 1990s, don’t
write it off just yet.
Delphi Corp. engineered the
system offered on Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra pickups, Chevy Suburban
and GMC Yukon SUV’s from
2002 to 2005. The innovation was greeted with little enthusiasm by
consumers but it probably had more to do with poor marketing rather
than a lack of performance. By electronically enabling the rear wheels
to turn as much as 12 degrees – it was the first production
application of steer-by-wire, the so-called Quadrasteer system reduced
the turning radius of those GM trucks from 44 feet to just 36.5 feet.
Quadrasteer improved high-speed
cornering stability because it helped keep the vehicle’s
body from leaning during turns. It was aimed at drivers who often
towed boats and trailers. Quadrasteer hit the market as a hefty
$4,495 option. GM later reduced it to $2,000 but did little to
promote it. Delphi hopes to sell it to another manufacturer. Look
for four-wheel steering to appear on a Ford Dodge, Toyota or Nissan
The idea of using an infrared
camera to detect heat-emitting objects in front or on the sides
of a vehicle was a good one. GM’s
choice of the 2000 Cadillac DeVille to roll out the new technology
was not, nor was the method of display – on the windshield.
The grille-mounted camera focused on the area round the front of
the car and could see as far ahead as 500 yards. Ghostly images were
projected on the lower left portion of the windshield. If a car was
moving at, say, 50 mph, it could be hard for the driver to stay focused
on the road while looking at the picture on the windshield.
It was a pricey option (about $2,200) but Cadillac dropped the
option after the 2005 model year. Night vision systems are not dead.
Autoliv and Siemens VDO offer newer versions with better displays
that are much easier on the eyes.
Many vehicles on the road already have at least some ability to
capture and store data such as vehicle speed and seat belt status.
Black boxes help automakers diagnose hard-to-trace electrical problems.
The devices also assist accident investigators as they determine
what happened before, during and after a crash. Any part of the vehicle
that has a sensor, from the seats to the brake system, can feed data
into the black box.
Automakers could use the information
in black boxes to defend themselves against lawsuits involving
claims of defects…..or lawyers
could use the information to prove a component failed. Black boxes
are controversial, some feel, because the information they contain
could be used to usurp a person’s right to privacy.
HARD FACTS NOW LICENSED FOR PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS
You trust the quality and integrity of our engineering
services. You can expect no less from our investigative team.
HARD FACTS NOW LICENSED
All of our automotive experts are now licensed locksmiths as a
result of correspondence with the State of New Jersey, Office of
the Attorney General, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division
of Consumer Affairs, Fire Alarm, Burglar Alarm and Locksmith Advisory
Committee over the past two years.
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