The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "crash experts" ...
Jean Claude Meus was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Florida Highway Patrol put together evidence showing Meus fell asleep at the wheel, lost control of his semi truck and overturned on minivan, killing a mother and daughter. The investigative team interviewed the first witness on the scene of the accident, who said Meus was alert and helpful immediately after the crash. Using evidence obtained from measurements, photos, etc., the asked an outside expert to map the scene and reconstruct the crash. The conclusion? Meus was awake and intentionally steered his truck off the roadway. The story fit with what Meus said, that he had swerved to avoid an oncoming car and lost control before overturning onto the van. When two jurors on the case agreed to meet with the new team and look at the new evidence, they concluded they would not have been able to convict Meus if this information had been presented at trial.
A Haitian truck driver, Jean Claude Meus, was convicted of vehicular homicide after a semi he was driving turned over and fell on a minivan, killing a mother and daughter. While no drugs or alcohol were present in his system at the time of the accident, prosecutors were able to push a conviction based on their assertion that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, and was thus driving recklessly. But WTVT-TV investigators "found convincing evidence that (he) did not fall asleep, and in fact, was trying to avoid an accident." An off-duty firefighter was a witness at the scene, and asserted that Meus was "alert and helpful immediately after the crash." Yet the lead investigator, who attended high school with victim Nona Moore, never interview Juan Otero, the off-duty firefighter. With the help of experts, WTVT reconstructed the crash, and the conclusion drawn was that Meus had turned off the road to avoid an obstruction. Further, WTVT spoke with jurors who said that with that new evidence, they would not have voted to convict.
Seven years after a seemingly accidental private airplane crash, the Asbury Park Press found evidence that forced the reopening of the federal investigation. The original NTSB investigation of a fatal 1998 plane crash in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, determined that the accident was caused by a bird strike, but the Asbury Park Press consulted experts who determined that sabotage was the most likely cause. The pilot, who died in the crash, had previously testified in a lawsuit that he suspected his planes were being sabotaged. A disputed land deal involving the township's airport provided a motive for murder.
Expert auto repair surgeons lure customers into thinking they have a safe car by creating dummy airbags covers, but the bags are not inside. The tape exposes the case of a 50-year-old woman who was in a car accident and her air bag never deployed. The airbag had been cut out by the dealer who sold her the car. Dealers save thousands of dollars and that could cost lives. Many other cases like these are investigated by the news team. The tape shows how to tell a fake from a real air bag. It also holds a few of the liars accountable for making buyers think the cars have air bags.
Tags: TAPE; airbag; car; automobile; auto; auto dealer; car dealer; car accident; accident; fake airbag; Washington State Patrol Fatal Incident Report; Department of Licensing; collision; car crash; missing airbag.
In 2002 October, U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash amidst speculation that the crash was part of a conspiracy. With this investigation, the reporters deduced that the crash was in fact pilot error. The investigation involved extensive collection of FOIA data and interviewing sources who had never spoken about the crash before.
Tags: airplane crash; U.S.Senator killed in crash; U.S.Senator Paul Wellstone; Paul Wellstone; FOIA; FAA; NTSB; pilot error; crashes due to pilot error; crash experts; back box; cockpit; cockpit voice recorder
"Are the Airplanes We Fly More At Risk?"; Trends in maintenance, inspections, cost-cutting pose threat, experts say
This story uncovers the truth behind the majority of airpline crashes due to maintenance mistakes. In the past decade, maintenance problems have accounted for 42% of fatal airline accidents. Reporters found that many airlines are not spending enough time and money maintaining planes, and mechanics aren't checking planes as often. There is also an increase in the use of contractors for repair work, who often are not regulated as heavily, and are not as well trained.
WESH-TV looked into the Amtrak Autotrain derailment, which occurred last April in Central Florida and killed four people and injured hundreds of passengers. Crash investigators believe the cause of the accident was a buckle in the tracks and the WESH-TV investigation "uncovered the tracks had problems before the crash that could cause them to buckle." It was also discovered that "CSX, which owns and maintains the tracks, had problems with its track in other states as well. One of the leading railroad engineering experts in the country also told us the tracks safety standards are inadequate and lead to derailments such as this one."
Tags: TAPE; TRANSCRIPT; railroads; CSX; trains; train tracks; safety; transportation; track safety; Amtrak; derailment; train accidents; train derailment; railroad engineering; train crash; Central Florida; Florida
For the first time in its history, the Air Force prosecuted mechanics for negligent homicide in the death of a pilot. The mechanics mistakenly had reversed the flight control rods on an F-15 during a routine maintenance procedure. No one caught the mistake. The plane crashed on take off and the pilot was killed. But there was a serious question of whether the mechanics were being made scapegoats. For a decade, the Air Force had been aware of other instances of crossed flight control rods but failed to follow a recommendation from safety experts to make a simple fix that would render the mistake impossible.
USA Today finds that half of the world's passenger jets contain electrical wire insulation that is considered unsafe by military and other wiring experts. Damaged wire insulation has led to fires and electrical equipment failure for years and may have played a role in two unsolved crashes: the recent Swissair Flight 111 accident off the coast of Nova Scotia and the explosion of TWA Flight 800 near Long Island in 1996.
Technology Review reports that "... computer animations are becoming powerful evidentiary tools in 10 percent of all U.S. trials. These animations translate data into intelligible images, illustrate expert testimony, and teach courtroom juries complex facts in record time. Though embryonic just a few years ago, the courtroom-animation industry, ranging from tiny startups to sophisticated engineering firms, exceeds $30 million... Despite these successes, the use of computer animation in the courtroom has come under intense scrutiny..."