This case involves a harness driver involved in an accident on the track. On this particular occasion, the car pulled away from the horses, went into a spin at the top of the first turn, spun around and the right wing of the vehicle was struck by one of the horses. This caused the wing to open and block the path of the other horses, some of whom ran over each other and struck the starting gate. One of the equestrians was thrown up in the air and struck by the horse, suffering serious injuries. It is alleged that the operators for the pace car did not control the gas pedal during the approach to the start of the race resulting in injuries.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Are you familiar with motor vehicle controls and starting gate race cars?
- 2. Are you available to conduct an inspection and write a forensic report?
- 3. Do you have experience working on harness racing cases similar to this one?
- 4. Please explain how proper engineering could have prevented an occurrence like this.
Expert Witness Response E-007830
It appears that the incident was caused by loss of control on the part of the lead car driver. The gate appears to move away from the vehicle as a result of the impact from a horse. The loss of vehicle control may be the result of a malfunction in the vehicle, vehicle operator error and/or the track conditions. As such, the solution may require both and accident reconstruction and engineering analysis. I have a background in both accident reconstruction and engineering, withc specific experience as it relates to horse races and accidents involving equines.