The primary mission of the Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team (CART) is to investigate and reconstruct traffic crashes that may result in the prosecution of felony Assault or Manslaughter charges. These crashes often involve an impaired driver involved in a serious injury or fatal crash. CART also assists the Washington County Major Crimes Team with diagramming crime scenes.
CART is a multi-agency team of specially trained law enforcement officers from the Sheriff's Office and the Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, King City, Tigard, and Tualatin Police Departments. The Washington County District Attorney's Office has also assigned Deputy District Attorneys to the team.
Members receive training in collision analysis, speed analysis, vehicle dynamics, occupant kinematics, scene photography, surveying equipment, crash scene mapping, and computer aided drawing programs. They attend the Institute of Police Technology Management at the University of North Florida for initial training, and ongoing training as members of the Forensic Accident Reconstructionists of Oregon.
To reconstruct a crash, CART investigators examine and analyze the roadway, physical evidence, and vehicle damage. The team uses a total station laser transit to obtain scene measurements and produce a computer generated diagram of the scene to aid in the successful prosecution of these cases. The total station laser is an advanced surveying system that utilizes a laser and reflective prism to obtain extremely accurate measurements. The measurements are then downloaded into a data collector or laptop computer. Computer aided diagramming (CAD) programs are then used to prepare crash and crime scene diagrams.