Blog | Case Study | Deadly Head-on Collision in Vermont
Vermont State Police Crash Reconstruction Team used Virtual CRASH software to produce a key demonstrative aid used to illustrate accident reconstruction analysis to the jury during a high-profile murder trial that received national attention.
Williston, Vermont – At 11:43 pm on October 8, 2016, Williston Police responded to a 911 call about a pickup truck driving on the wrong side of I-89. What followed next was a tragic two-vehicle head-on collision between a 2012 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 pickup and a 2004 Volkswagon Jetta. The Tacoma, driven by Steven Bourgoin, was traveling north in the southbound lanes, where it collided with the Jetta. Incredibly, after colliding with the Jetta, Bourgoin then stole a Williston Police Department cruiser and fled the scene, eventually turning around and returning to the scene where he crashed the cruiser at a high rate of speed into the Tacoma he was originally driving. Seven other vehicles were also damaged during the incident. The incident resulted in the deaths of five Mad River Valley teens. See news story >
During the 11-day trial, Cpl. Mike Sorensen of the Vermont State Police (now retired), presented VSP’s accident reconstruction analysis of the case, which included a detailed analysis of the 2012 Tacoma’s EDR pre-crash data.
Cpl. Sorensen used the path animation tool of Virtual CRASH 4 to create compelling videos which aided the jury in understanding the pre-impact trajectories of the vehicles involved, as well as the post-impact trajectories the vehicles took to arrive at their areas-of-rest, according to Cpl. Sorensen’s analysis of the forensic evidence. The animation sequence can be seen in this video.
Bougoin was charged with five counts of second degree murder and other violations by the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office. The jury found Bourgoin guilty of second-degree murder on all counts (read story).
The full trial can be seen below.
The Virtual CRASH animation was shown during day 4 of the trial (go to 3:23).