In this Issue:

ATA Reverses Blame Against Client

"Presenting" ATA

Texas Trucking Association Leaders Visit ATA

Introducing ATA's Toolbox

This Issue's Toolbox Feature


ATA was retained to investigate a multiple vehicle nighttime accident that occurred on a bridge on Interstate 10 in the state of Mississippi. Loss of life and multiple injuries occurred.

There were reportedly four identified vehicles involved in a complex series of collisions. The Mississippi DPS placed the blame on our client, the operator of a tractor trailer, for causing this accident. The Plaintiff’s counsel and their experts also adopted this conclusion.

Our initial investigation of the involved vehicles and the accident site identified multiple collision contacts by way of discovered paint and material transfers. ATA’s findings during the course of this investigation indicated that the DPS conclusions were in error.

To prove our client was not at fault, comprehensive paint and materials sampling was conducted and used to establish contacts and the sequence of events during the accident.

Paint and damage transfer evidence was observed during the vehicle inspections with a 30X magnification field microscope. Samples were secured for later microscopic inspection, photographic documentation, spectrometric and FTIR analysis. A total of 101 samples were taken.

Vehicle paint system transfers and comparison analysis to reference paint systems were used to establish vehicle contact points and vehicle contact sequence. ASTM protocols were followed:

        E860 – Standard practice for examining and preparing items that are or may become involved in criminal         or civil litigation.

        E2937-13 – FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Testing)

The analysis identified the initial collision to the rear of a Pontiac was caused by a phantom vehicle and not by any of the identified vehicles.

Our client was shown not to have initiated the accident sequence. Our vehicle was found to make scraping passive contact with the post-collision, upside-down Pontiac. The Plaintiff’s counsel, upon the review of the analysis report, adopted the opinion that we did not initiate the accident.



For years, ATA has been invited to be featured speakers for seminars, conferences and industry organizations. Based on an accumulation of 45 years of knowledge and experience gained in performing accident reconstruction casework, we have given dozens of speeches and presentations across a wide range of forensic engineering topics that feature case related analysis, video and animations.

We are in the process of gathering and organizing ATA’s treasury of work product and multimedia files produced over the course of our company’s history into formats that can be developed as informative, educational and training resources to firms or audiences that would find our services and expertise beneficial.

We are also in the process of applying for CEU and CLE certification of these programs to allow for attendee credits when possible. We are happy to offer specially tailored presentations of subjects of particular interest to any group.

Our activities over the past 45 years have given ATA a wealth of knowledge that we are prepared and ready to share with your organization.



Leaders from the Texas Trucking Association visited ATA Associates, Inc. in December. We had a great visit and discussion with Mr. John Esparza and Ms. Madison Porter. John is the leader of the Texas Trucking Association and has helped move the trucking industry forward throughout his tenure; while Madison is the membership coordinator. We have a strong history of involvement with the Texas Trucking Association and look forward to expanding and evolving that relationship in a mutually beneficial way.



How does one go about compiling and organizing the capabilities and experience gleaned in 45 years of performing forensic engineering across an incredibly diverse range of disciplines and subjects?

In our case, the staff at ATA Associates is developing the “ATA Toolbox”, an online resource filled with videos, animations, written articles, case studies and other informative media designed to give you an insight into the length and breadth of the work that we have done.

The “ATA Toolbox” is organized into categories that one can easily navigate to review ATA’s activities and work products in whatever areas may interest you. The purpose is two-fold – to be informative and educational, while at the same time describing our project history in such a way that we effectively illustrate how we can help both present and future clients. The toolbox is presently comprised of over a dozen major categories, but will continue to grow and expand over time.


This issue’s featured topic for ATA’s Toolbox is human factors. Human factors are involved in nearly every incident we come across. This involves such forensic disciplines as expectancy, human body motion, judgement of speed and distance, perception reaction, visibility problems and anthropometrics.

Visit the Toolbox and click on the “Human Factors” tab to view presentations on this important investigative topic.