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Deposition 1 - deposition of witness in products liability case - Part 2
A. No. The vehicle operated as a normal vehicle design would in this particular instance. I'm not saying that he wasn't injured by virtue of the crash and the collision crush of the vehicle, but there is nothing unusual or abnormal about the vehicle and the vehicle crush in this particular instance that would say that it had anything abnormal about it or anything defective in the design of the body frame arrangement; that it was -- it was reasonably crashworthy.
Q. Right. How long did it take you to reach that conclusion in this case?
A. I would say probably a day. I think it took me a day to review the materials.
Q. Excuse me. Materials that you received from Mr. Henderson?
A. From Mr. Henderson, yes.
Q. And those materials were this notebook that you've referred to, and what else did you review?
A. Well, essentially the -- to come to that conclusion, I would basically say I utilized the police report, the description by the operator, Mr. Miller, of what was going on, how he was operating the vehicle. I used ?? -- at that time the scene photo that I think there's only one scene photo in that early material, and the rest of that was developed by virtue of looking at the photos that were available of the vehicle.
Q. From what period of time?
A. Well --
Q. '98 or the photos taken since cannibalization?
A. The photos that were taken, I'm really not sure when and what the accumulation is because some of them we've gotten later on. I just received some of them because I understand they were just surfaced and brought.
But certainly, let's put it this way, all the photos that I looked at before I came over to look at the vehicle itself, which would now encompass my photographs, and then it would also include going and looking at the subject Dodge that I looked at back in Detroit that you have photos that are attached to the report I sent to Hick.
And I'm saying that part of the decision was probably an eight-hour process. There were more hours because I reviewed a lot of material, and a lot of it wasn't relative to that particular conclusion. Some of the materials I reviewed weren't relative to a whole lot of anything relative to my analysis of the vehicle and the accident.
Q. Vehicle traveling at 45 miles an hour moves at what rate?
A. Well, roughly speaking, it's one and a half miles an hour -- one and a half feet per second per mile per hour or 88 feet for 60 miles an hour. So 45 is going to be around 50, 55.
Q. Feet per second?
A. Feet per second, right.
Q. That's a generally true statement with regards to most motor vehicles.
A. Well, 88 is exact. Generally they talk about 90 and 45 to round them off. But a vehicle traveling 60 miles an hour travels 88 feet pec second.
Q. So after review of those things that you've told me about, the police report, the deposition of Mr. Miller, and the scene photograph from January of '99, and that was the only photograph taken of the scene of the occurrence even close to the time of the occurrence at issue in this case, was it not?
A. I'm familiar with only the one photo of the building, yes.
Q. Okay. And then you looked at additional photos, and, you're not sure which ones necessarily, but that was the process you went through, and then reviewed some other information and came to a conclusion that, B: The vehicle operated by Mr. Miller at the time of the accident was reasonably crashworthy.
Q. Do you believe that a reasonably competent engineer could follow the same type of path approximately in reaching that conclusion?
A. Well, depends on his competence. If he's involved in accident reconstruction and so forth, but there are a lot of engineers that I have trained because they're not competent in accident reconstruction and analysis of collisioning forces and haven't been familiar with crash testing and so forth that I could bring them up to speed, but to give them the assignment they probably wouldn't pick up the details and probably wouldn't come to the proper conclusion.
So, I guess to answer your question, any reasonable, no. You have to be in the proper area of training and expertise.
Q. So with regards to this particular issue, it would take something more than a layman's background to understand whether or not the vehicle had a crashworthy nature to it. Is that correct?
A. If they were coming in cold turkey to look at it, in my opinion, yes. Yes.
Q. Okay. Well, is there anything about the defendants, as you know them at this point in time in this case, that allows you to conclude they were competent to render opinions about crashworthiness about this vehicle?
A. Who specifically are you referring to?
Q. Mr. Boucher and Ms. Enright.
A. I basically don't know. I haven't met them. I've read their depositions, and I guess I can't pass judgment on them based on that information.
Q. Based on their depositions that you've read, was there anything in there that would allow you to conclude they have the competence to render an opinion about whether or not this vehicle, this truck that we're talking about, was crashworthy at the time of the occurrence in question?
A. ?? only say, based on my experience and so forth, that in general, the attorneys do not have that, unless they have worked with somebody like myself over the years. There are several of them that I can say, based on working with them several times, that they've picked up competency that way. They have a pretty good feel, when they call, what's going on.
Q. And based on --
A. But they'll still call me to do the analysis.
Q. Sure. And based on that experience that you've told me about, you would agree that neither Mr. Boucher nor Ms. Enright had the background, training or experience to allow them to competently render an opinion about whether or not the vehicle in question was crashworthy. Is that correct?
A. Again, I can't pass on them. I can give you the generalities, but I'd like to talk to them and get more information, you know. Attorneys took the deposition. They didn't ask the questions I would.
Q. Let me just -- I'm sure my question is not clear.
Q. Just based upon your experience and what you've read of their deposition, do you see anything in their deposition or have you received any other information which would allow you to conclude that they are competent to render an opinion about the crashworthiness of the truck in question?
A. Like I said, I can't answer your question because there is more information that I would need to know. I can only tell you my general experience is that attorneys aren't equipped that way.
Q. And, again, I'm just not trying to be difficult. You're telling me you need more information. So my question is, do you have enough information that's been given to you to allow you to conclude that they were competent to render it?
A. No, I do not.
Q. Okay. Thank you. So at this point you can't make such a statement that they're competent to render an opinion. Correct?
Q. That's all I was trying to --
A. I can't make the statement that they're not competent.
Q. Hell, if you believe that they are not competent, if there is insufficient information for you to conclude that they're competent, what is it that you would conclude that precludes you from saying they're not competent?
A. I would like to talk to them, ask them specific questions that I would need to get that kind of a feel.
Q. Well, what would the specific questions be?
A. I'd like to know more about their background as far as cases they've handled.
Q. What else?
A. Essentially that would be it. How much familiarity they had with working with cars.
Q. What else?
A. It's kind of those two general questions. They would probably bleed off into other questions, but essentially those would be the two general questions I'd ask.
Q. Okay. If, for example, one of them had never handled a products liability case in their life, would that allow you to conclude they were not competent to render an opinion about crashworthiness in this case?
Q. What else would you need?
A. Hell, just because they've never handled one, doesn't mean they don't have any experie?? with accidents and so forth.
So I -- you know, I can't answer that question specifically. It would probably tend to indicate that they didn't have the ability to make any decisions along that line, but there -- you know, it's one of those things where I'm -- you're trying to ask me some opinions on the shadow on the wall, and I really feel incompetent to answer those kinds of questions.
Q. When you said “experience with accidents,” did you mean background, training, and experience in accident reconstruction?
A. Well, let me back up this way. Certainly, to evaluate the situation that we're in today, to evaluate this vehicle and so forth, I would say they didn't have that competence.
Q. The competence to determine whether or not the vehicle was crashworthy?
A. Well --
Q. Excuse me. The competence to determine whether the vehicle was crashworthy?
A. Right, based on the evidence that's here today.
Q. All right. It would require some type of determination by an engineer like yourself or someone --
Q. -- Equally competent. is that correct?
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. And so I take it that your opinion about, in C, The present condition of the vehicle allows the determination that the vehicle was crashworthy, is really in the manner of a supplemental opinion that you rendered after looking at the vehicle or did you draw that conclusion just from the photographs of the cannibalized vehicle?
A. No. I drew the conclusion by virtue of the photos. If you recall -- if you look at ray letter to Mr. Henderson, it was before I looked at the vehicle. The only thing looking at the vehicle has done has solidified some opinions and has given me more data than was available by virtue of what existed before that time, including Mr. Kelsey's technician's examination.
Q. I noticed, in reviewing the documents that you reviewed, that you had made reference to you looked at Police Officer Ott's deposition, and there were --
A. Yes, sir.
Q. -- Two handwritten notes on top of the deposition referring to page 13 that referred to weather and page 14 that said no photos.
Was there anything -- was that some notation of what was significant to you in the information chat came from that deposition?
A. Yeah. That's a typical analysis that I would do, because I have been in situations where it's been checked photos and there aren't any and it's been an oversight and the photos haven't been gone after or in some -- there have been the rare occasions when the photos haven't been available or they've been destroyed.
Q. Okay. For purposes of analysis in this case, you're aware then that the police officer who came to the scene took no photographs. Correct?
Q. He made no measurements. Correct?
Q. He did not position on his report the location of the vehicle. Correct?
A. That's right.
Q. And he did not call or ask for any accident reconstruction information to be developed such as looking or measuring skid marks, if any, measuring the curb, if any, none of those things. Correct?
A. That's correct.
Q. Was there anything that he did that would aid in evaluation of how this event occurred?
A. Well, he took the eyewitness's name down, as I recall --
A. -- Which allowed the information to be obtained from the eyewitness. i think he took the statement from the eyewitness.
Q. And what did you understand him to say the eyewitness said?
A. Well, basically it's on the police report that the vehicle went to the left and struck the building, and he didn't see any brake lights --
A. -- Which is significant right there.
Q. What's the significance of that?
A. Ho brake lights.
Q. Okay. And what's the signifies of no brake lights?
A. Well, in my experience in accidents and in testing, that as soon as something goes awry with the vehicle, the first thing the customer does, if he turns the steering wheel at the same time, he goes to the brake.
And over the years, General Motors has developed a program particularly that they introduced to police departments to show them why you shouldn't do that and to train them so that they don't do that.
Q. So they don't hit the brakes.
Q. Because --
A. People typically hit the brakes.
Q. And, you know what, you're right about that. What is it -- what was the message that GM was trying to convey in its information that it put out to the police departments or other people about why not to do that?
A. Well, if you hit the brakes and lock up the wheels, you're out of control. It's that simple.
Q. So the best thing to do --
A. If you can control braking, you can control the vehicle --
Q. ?? thing to do --
A. -- Under certain circumstances.
Q. Best thing to do is try to steer out of it instead of hitting the place?
A. Not necessarily. Some places institute steer out of it or it's to put in a controlled steer -- controlled braking to allow you to continue to have control and steer the vehicle.
Q. At what point in time -- strike that.
How long was it in time between the time the vehicle Mr. Miller was driving veered to the left and the time that the vehicle struck the wall?
MR. HENDERSON: I'm going to object to the argumentative form of the question by using veering, but he can answer.
Q. Well, I'll use the terra you used. I think -- maybe I misunderstood. I thought you said veered to the left. Was that a terra you used, veered to the left?
A. Based on the information we have, the direction he was going and so forth, he would have had to have veered to the left --
A. -- To get over to the building.
Q. All right. So, how much time elapsed between the point of the vehicle Mr. Miller was driving began to veer to the left and the time it struck the wall?
A. I can't answer that --
Q. Why can't you answer that?
A. -- Except in general saying that it was not an abnormal time. in other words, I don't find any evidence that he is driving 80, 90 miles an hour, which would make it a very short period of time, versus driving 35 or 40 miles an hour, which is going to be a much shorter time.
The time is related to the velocity of the vehicle. At the time he's going 40 miles an hour, he's going some 15 feet per second.
Q. You found him to be going approximately 40 miles per hour at the time of the collision?
A. No, I don't think he was going 40. I think he was going less than that. I think he was going 30, 35. Let's put it the general 25 to 35 miles an hour --
Q. And that's based on what?
A. -- Is my speed estimate based on the crush of the vehicle and the location of the crush of the vehicle, and that's a Judgment based on experience of viewing crash tests and also the data that's in the Journal that you have in front of you,
Q. And other than your estimate of what his speed was at the time based on the crush, you can't -- do you have any other opinion about the time involved from the beginning of veer to the time that the vehicle struck the wall. Is that correct?
A. No, other than it was a few seconds. It wasn't minutes. It was something on the order of a few seconds.
Q. When you say “a few seconds,” two? three? four?
A. I would say something less than ten.
Q. But other than saying “less than ten,” you can't render any opinion. Is that correct?
A. I might. I haven't really done an analysis of that particular phase of the accident in this instance. My opinion, until you asked the question, it wasn't necessary; so I haven't done it.
Q. Well, what was it that you -- what additionally would you need to look at to make that determination?
A. I would basically make a full-scale layout of the -- or a scaled layout of the accident scene, based on what I now know after reviewing it, and make some drawings to indicate some paths the vehicle, and from that then I could make a determination, based on the speed of how long it was from Point A to Point B so we could be more exact, and I haven't done that.
Q. And it's not your intention to do that. Is that correct?
A. Right now, no.
Q. But absent doing that, it's your belief that it certainly was “less than ten” seconds and “a few seconds” were the words you used. Is that correct?
Q. Your conclusion in E that the vehicle went to the left before the collision with the building because of driver error or inattention is because you have determined that the vehicle -- there was no vehicle system malfunction. Is that correct?
Q. You do not have some type of independent evidence or knowledge that the man fell asleep; you're inferring that he did something or fell asleep, was inattentive or fell asleep because you conclude that there was no manufacturing defect present in the vehicle. Correct?
Q. All right.
A. It's consistent with him falling asleep.
Q. Okay. For how long had he fallen asleep?
A. I can't answer that question.
Q. Okay. Do you know the path that he was traveling immediately prior to the -- he being Mr. Miller -immediately prior to the time of the occurrence in question here?
A. What are you referring to as time of the occurrence? The collision?
Q. Yes. The collision of the vehicle -- when I say the occurrence, I'm talking now about the collision with the wall by the Dodge Ram pickup that Mr. Miller was driving.
A. Yes. The physical evidence of the vehicle shows us that he's running parallel to the vehicle -- parallel to the building, I'm sorry.
Q. Right. Immediately prior to the collision --
Q. -- He's running parallel.
A. Yes. He's approaching the building, and he's going parallel to the building.
Q. My question was, and I perhaps misspoke, what was the path that he traveled to get to the collision? In other words, where had he been and what was he doing? Are you aware of that?
A. Well, your question is vague to the point where are we starting? Are we starting in the roadway?
Q. Let me -- let's back up. Let me make sure -- do you need to take a break?
Q. In D you say: The vehicle contained no manufacturing defects in its steering or suspension systems.
Q. Is that an opinion you rendered from looking at the photographs prior to your inspection?
A. Yea, the photographs with the rest of the material that was available.
Q. Okay. So all your inspection did was just confirm that opinion for you. Is that right?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Please tell me everything that you found significant or Important in helping you arrive at the conclusion expressed in D.
A. Well, the primary conclusion there, of course, was based on the front suspension because I wasn't too concerned about the rear suspension until your disclosure came, let's put it that way, Kelsey's disclosure.
But the front suspension showed in the photos showed that the suspension links for the left corner of the front of the vehicle were both damaged and bent, and it also showed that the ones on the right side holding the right side of the axle were not bent or deformed or damaged in the accident, however, they had been cut off.
The frame, which is the real indicator of what's happening in the collision, the frame is relatively undamaged, the frame rails. There are photos of the frame rails before, they were photographed later after being cut, but the frame rails are both parallel and the left frame rail as well as the right frame rail in the front of the vehicle are not damaged.
The interior of the car in the photographs showed that the passenger side of the passenger compartment and the dash over towards the steering wheel were virtually undamaged. The right side of the vehicle showed essentially only superficial damage that I couldn't define whether ?? from the accident or from handling of the vehicle.
The photos showed the crush of the vehicle to be right down a line in the front of the vehicle or let's say the left front headlight into the cowl toe pan area, the end of the rocker area, and into the A-pillar area of the vehicle, and that all was a direct indicator and an easy way to read that the vehicle had to be parallel with the building at the time it struck the building.
And the offset collision in this instance only involved what I'm going to call a relatively soft area of the front end of the vehicle as opposed to the total vehicle which was taken into consideration in the design for crashworthiness.
And essentially we hit the left headlight, we hit the left wheel and we drove it back into the cowl and the rocker area, and we crushed the vehicle in a very select almost missed, so to speak, area, and we drove that corner of the vehicle back into the passenger compartment. And it happens to be where the driver, if he's in the normal position driving the vehicle, that's where his left leg is.
The photos that I had relative to the rear suspension were incomplete for what was there as it exists today, and there's enough information there today to show that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the rear suspension.
Q. Anything else?
A. Can I have the question again to see if I need anothe question.
A. Okay. The rest of that would be I did a kind of a failure mode analysis in my head. Well, I have discussed it with Mr. Henderson too. If something would go awry, a manufacturing defect, per se, that's going to affect the control of the vehicle and change the vehicle path, in this particular instance, in the few seconds that we're dealing with, ten or less or four or five hundred feet or less, the operator, in ray opinion, based on my background and experience, is not going to be able to change the direction of the vehicle.
And based on the information we have, the vehicle was going down the road and struck a vehicle -- a building on the opposite side of the road, on the left-hand side of the road. So the vehicle had to go to the left to get over there.
And then there's no way that vehicle would have gone straight into the vehicle -- into the vehicle parallel to the building unless it was steered back to the right and it responded. So that fact, in and of itself, says nothing went wrong with the vehicle; the vehicle was doing what it was capable of doing. It was the driver that was the problem.
The pictures and all that all confirm that, but that simple fact of the collision forces, where the vehicle was, where it ended up and how it ended up, are all consistent with a vehicle that hasn't any problems, and we see with the vehicle itself that that's all consistent.
Q. At the time -- other than the photographs that were taken in January of 1996, the other photographs you were shown were taken substantially after that date. Is that correct?
A. Again, I didn't write them down and I don't have it in my head when they were all taken, whenever they were. I assume you know better than I.
Q. Well, the ones taken after January of 1998 were all after the vehicle had been cannibalized. Is that correct?
A. Well, let's put it this way. It had been started to be disassembled but it had various stages. I think it was disassembled before it had the cutting torch applied and pieces were cut off it.
Q. Would it be fair to say that, as of the time of those photographs, the ones that do not Include the January 1998 photographs, the vehicle, this truck was not in the same condition it was at the time of the collision or occurrence?
A. I would say any of the postaccident photos, the vehicle isn't in the same condition it was at the time of the collision.
Q. I'd like you to show me the photos that you relied upon in stating that, based on the front suspension, certain photos show suspension links for the left corner of the front of the vehicle were damaged and bent. I've marked here as Exhibit 6 those photos which were provided to us,
Were there photographs other than your photographs that you relied upon in making that determination?
Q. Okay. Are these --
A. These are --
MR. HENDERSON: Just a second. Could you read the question back again, please.
MR. CARTER: Let me just reask the question because there's some difficulty in locating it.
Q. You said that from the materials you saw in looking at the front suspension, you said certain photographs show that the suspension links for the left corner of the front of the vehicle were damaged and bent.
I'd like you to show me those photographs that you relied upon in coming to that conclusion.
A. Well, without going through all of them, this particular photo is the best photo right up here. It's marked U on this particular page.
Q. Well, you know what --
A. It's in my file too, and you have a copy of that, I think.
MR. CARTER: I think this is your pile, so I'm going to record -- to mark that page with an exhibit which is the next one.
MR. HENDERSON: Actually, Jim, I think that's from my copy of Mr, Kelsey's deposition.
MR. CARTER: What's it from? It was in his --
MR. HENDERSON: I just put it down here.
THE WITNESS: Yeah, he just saved me going through all that is what he did.
MR. CARTER: Well, that's fine. Why don't you point out in there, and we'll mark -- I do want you to tell me every photograph that you relied upon in reaching that conclusion, please.
MR. HENDERSON: Look through there and find the photographs.
MR. CARTER: And, if you can, just refer to if it's a deposition, previous deposition exhibit, we can do that. If you want to take a few minutes while you search out those photos and that way you can be organized, that's fine. Let's take a break.
THE WITNESS: Well, I've got several. I don't know that I've got them all, but there are several you can look at here.
MR. CARTER: Well, I just want to make sure that you show me all the photos that you thought had any importance or significance or allowed you to reach the conclusion or conclusions that you've reached.
MR. HENDERSON: So take your time and go through them.
THE WITNESS: Well, that's a different question. We were talking about suspension and I marked suspension.
MR. CARTER: That's fine. You can do that, I'm going to ask you the same process on all these.
THE WITNESS: I marked the suspension ones to answer your previous question.
MR. HENDERSON: Well, off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
BY MR. CARTER:
Q. I think I'd asked you first about those photographs that you relied upon in forming your opinion that the suspension links for the left corner of the front of the vehicle were damaged and bent.
Q. All right.
A. There's a real good one showing the left upper and showing the left lower too, but it's not as vivid as the left.
Q. Well, all right.
A. I don't know whose photo that is.
Q. Well, we're looking -- you're showing me now a document that's got three photos on it.
A. Yes, I'm referring to this photo right here (indicating).
Q. Upper right-hand?
A. Upper right. I think it's marked U in some of this stuff. It may be one and the same. I'm sorry. Here's U that we had previously, and U shows both of them, and it shows both of them deformed very well.
Well, put it this way. It shows them as good as I got them in the original. I show them in ray photos that I took the other day very clearly, and you have these in front of you here. This is my stack that was taken on June 30th.
MR. CARTER: Okay. Hold on. Let's mark these the next two exhibits.
(Exhibit Nos. 11 and 12 marked.)
Q. Show you what's marked 11 and 12 and ask you to designate, in looking at 11 and 12, I've handed them to you, with a single photograph in the bottom portion of the page and two photographs ??ering the upper portion of the page.
Now, which of those photographs on 11, is it, that you're referring to as supportive for the question?
A. The one on 11 is the upper right and it's got a handwritten U above it, and the one on 12 is also the upper right photo, if you hold it vertically.
Q. Those appear -- 11 and 12 appear to be the same except 11 is a little more washed out. Would you agree?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay. Now, on the photograph in the upper right of 12, what is it you're talking -- referring to when you say the suspension links for the left corner of the front of the vehicle were damaged and bent?
A. I'm talking about the item that appears to have a 360 or a 350 on it, which is right here. Do you want me to circle that?
Q. In the center of the photograph, sure, that's fine. You can circle on that.
A. Circle that and then that's the upper arm because it's the one that's high coming off the frame bracket, and then this I'm circling below that is the portion of ??ower arm that's still on the vehicle showing that it is buckled or deformed also, even though there's just a short portion of it.
Q. Okay. Do both of those items you've circled show that they've been cut?
A. Yes, they have been.
Q. And that was in cutting -- when they were cut, well, what was removed from those items?
A. Hell, the control arms have been cut in between the two connections, the connection at the frame versus the connection at the axle.
Q. So what I'm looking at is the connection to the frame?
Q. And the -- and the control arms from that point out to the axle have been removed at some point. Is that correct?
A. Well, they were cut and whether they were removed with the axle or whatever. They go forward. They don't go out. They go forward. This is fore and aft components in the vehicle theirself, they're located behind the front axle.
Q. What's the length of that piece that's --
A. I haven't measured it.
Q. What is the function of that piece that's not present because it was cut and removed?
A. Those two items along with the two on the opposite side of the vehicle are there to control the motion available to the front axle. They are the suspension links, two of the suspension links on this suspension. There is one other link that controls the -- how that axle moves.
Q. Okay. And did you ever look at those portions that were removed when the engine was removed?
A. No, I did not.
Q. You are unable to state to any certainty, as you sit here today, what the condition of those portions are that were removed and that you never observed. Is that correct?
Q. Oh, you are?
Q. Having not seen them?
Q. Okay. What is their condition at the time they were removed?
A. They were connected to the axle. Obviously -- it's obvious because they are cut to remove the axle. What is more obvious by the fact that they're deformed, which means they were attached when the vehicle hit the building. If they weren't attached, you wouldn't have deformation like you see there.
Q. Do you know how they removed the engine when they cannibalized the vehicle?
Q. You weren't present. Correct?
Q. You haven't talked to anybody to explain how it was done. Correct?
A. Correct, I have not.
Q. All right. Would it be fair to say that in removing the engine they altered the structure of what you've shown in Paragraph 12 or in Item 12 here?
A. Talking about the photograph?
A. I can only tell you, based on my knowledge of how the vehicle is put together and so forth, to get the engine out of the vehicle they shouldn't have had to do anything to that control arm and the axle.
Q. They should not have?
A. Should not'have. The engine ?? up out of the vehicle, and it would be removed by raising it up.
Q. That would be the normal way to do it?
Q. So there was some other reason that somebody was cutting away down at this area. Is that correct?
A. Again, what you're asking me now is speculation.
Q. You have no idea when what is displayed in 12 was cut. Correct?
A. I do not know why they cut it out of the vehicle.
Q. That was my next question.
A. All I can tell you is that they did, but they left enough evidence to show that the arms are deformed and that's significant to me.
Q. Do you know how the deformation occurred?
Q. Is there any other explanation besides the collision?
Q. The deformation, in your opinion, could not have occurred in the process of cutting up the vehicle --
Q. -- Or tearing it apart to get to something?
Q. Why not
A. Too much load required.
Q. Do you know what was done to the vehicle that resulted in the cutting of 12, the picture displayed in 12, the item displayed in the picture in 12?
A. Well, I think we've talked about I don't know why they cut versus unbolting. Generally, I can tell you the reason they cut is because the parts aren't any good, and it's quicker to cut them than it is to unbolt them and take them out.
Q. Could the remaining portion of what has been cut in 12 have been -- have failed prior to the collision?
Q. Under no circumstances. Is that correct?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. What is the basis of that opinion?
A. My knowledge of vehicles and the performance of this vehicle and its vehicle path.
Q. You will agree that the condition of the vehicle displayed in Picture No. 12 is not the same condition it was in at the time of the collision in question. Is that correct?
A. The portion I see is in the same condition that it was at the time of the collision. The whole part is obviously not there because it's been cut apart with a cutting torch.
A. In ray opinion, that was all together in the vehicle when they took it apart.
Q. Would some other engineer be capable of coming to the conclusion that the missing portion of this precludes the rendering of any opinion, to a reasonable degree of certainty, about the condition of this portion of the product at the time of the collision?
A. In ray opinion, he should not.
Q. And why not?
A. Because, if he understands how the vehicle is built, follows the path of this vehicle, he would understand that we'd have a different accident. He'd have a different damage to the vehicle.
Q. Follows the path of this vehicle, was that your terminology?
A. No. You know, in an analysis, you analyze all the data that you have, and we have data of the vehicle path and the collision damage to the vehicle.
Q. The vehicle path is what you hypothesize it to be. Is that correct?
A. No. The vehicle path is dictated by the collision damage to the vehicle and the description of the path that the vehicle was in before the accident --
Q. It's --
A. -- Occurred.
Q. It's your testimony earlier that you stated that immediately before the collision the vehicle turned again to the right so that it was parallel with the point of the wall that it collided with. Is that correct?
A. I said that the vehicle showed that it had gone to the left to cross the lanes of traffic to get to the other side of the road, which required that it be steered back to the right so that it would be parallel to the building when it crashed.
Q. That assumes --
A. I didn't refer to immediate or anything of that nature. I'm just telling you what had to happen to that vehicle for it to traverse that path.
Q. That assumes that your hypothetical of it striking the building in the fashion you say it did is what occurred. Correct?
A. That's not hypothetical. It's ?? on what the vehicle shows.
Q. Is there, within your study of engineering, any degree of change that can exist with respect to the -- what is it you called it -- the line of force that was asserted on this vehicle?
In other words, I think you're saying this vehicle was at a zero-degree plane with the wall in question.