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Accident Animation Used at Criminal Trial

The second day of a criminal trail of a dump truck driver who struck and killed a cyclist was dominated by argument over the prosecution’s animation of the accident prepared by the state police. At issue, was whether or not the truck driver exercised due care in the 2011 crash. After the prosecution rested its case, the defense accident reconstruction expert testified about the problems he had with the State Patrol’s animation. This is a typical tactic when animations are used as trail exhibits, as the opposing attorney attempts to undermine the animation by questioning the factual basis for the events shown in the animation. In this case, the defense expert also explained the important distinction between animation, which is a graphical representation of objects in space, and simulation, which is based on the laws of physics and the provided input parameters.

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