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Chesterfield, NJ Accident Animation

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Published on Jul 23, 2013

This three-dimensional animated reconstruction shows the accident sequence for an intersection-related accident near Chesterfield, New Jersey, which occurred on February 16, 2012 at 8:15 am local time.

The animation illustrates the overall sequence of events from just before the collision until the vehicles reach their final rest positions. The school bus was traveling northbound on Burlington County Road (BCR) 660 through the intersection with BCR 528, while the roll-off truck (with a fully loaded dump container) was traveling east on BCR 528, approaching the intersection. The school bus driver had stopped at the overhead flashing red traffic beacon and STOP sign before proceeding through the intersection. The roll-off truck was not required to stop at the intersection; the overhead beacon was flashing yellow for traffic along BCR 528. As the school bus entered the intersection, it failed to yield to the roll-off truck and the truck impacted the school bus behind the left rear axle. The bus rotated nearly 180 degrees and subsequently struck the metal pole supporting the traffic beacon, bringing the bus to a stop. The impact with the pole occurred behind the right rear axle of the school bus. After the collision the roll-off truck traveled about 186 feet coming to rest in a field.

The roadway and the area of the accident are scale models built from the three-dimensional survey data, photographs and laser-scanned point cloud data. The trees are based on photographs and point cloud data from the accident site. Other vehicles are placed in the scene based on photographs and witness statements, but the exact position, make and model was not recorded for any of these vehicles. The animation depicts the vehicle motion developed through a simulation that was based on the physical parameters of the roll-off truck and the school bus coupled with the evidence of tire marks and the damage to the vehicles. The initial speed of the roll-off truck is 53 mph, and the speed of the truck at impact with the school bus is 40 mph. Uncertainties in the vehicle parameters, limited physical evidence and approximations used in the computer models would permit some variation in the calculated motion of the vehicles while still matching the overall vehicle behavior. The animation does not depict the weather or visibility conditions at the time of the accident. The animation does not include audio.

The animation sequence shows two views of the accident. The first view is an overhead view and the second view follows the roll-off truck. The animation sequence is shown twice divided by the title "Repeat of Animation Sequence".

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