Bsc (Hons), Msc, MITAI
I am a forensic scientist specialising in collision investigation. I hold a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in physics, and I am a member of the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators.
From 1975 to 1979 I was employed in the Accident Investigation Division of the Transport and Road Research Laboratory in Crowthorne, Berkshire on the ‘On The Spot’ investigation unit. During this time I was the first person in the UK to use the CRASH and CRASH2 computer programs. I was also involved in some of the early research into breath alcohol analysis machines.
In 1980 and 1981 I was employed in the Road Accident Group within the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford University, where I continued to routinely attend the scenes of traffic collisions, but was also involved in developing computer simulation methods for accident reconstruction for use in connection with studies into the relationship between crash severity and injury severity. This included use of the CRASH2 and CRASH3 computer programs.
From 1981 to 1989 I was employed at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory, where I was on a call out system for attending serious and fatal road accidents as they were reported. I was also an authorised tachograph chart analyst, an authorised test driver, and I became qualified to drive Large Goods Vehicles.
From 1989 to 2002 I was a founding Partner in Ashton and Jennings, an independent firm specialising in forensic road accident investigation.
Between 2002 and 2008 I was a Principal Consultant in the Incident Investigation and Reconstruction Group at TRL Ltd, (formerly the Transport and Road Research Laboratory) where I was also authorised as a test driver. Whilst at TRL Ltd., I acted as a Consultant to ‘Operation Paget’ (Lord Stevens’ investigation into the death of Diana, HRH The Princess of Wales) and presented my evidence at the Inquest before Lord Justice Scott-Baker. I also served on the Boards of Inquiry that were convened to investigate two fatal bus collisions in Ireland.
As a test driver I have gained practical experience in the effects of different factors on vehicle handling. I have been present at, and participated in, numerous practical events including skid testing and crash testing sessions.
I have undertaken many short technical courses to develop various individual specialist skills; including courses on Driving Stability Systems, Accident Investigation for Road Safety Engineers, Forensic Tyre Examination, Vericom accelerometers, and a course by Brach and Brach on Mathematical Methods in Accident Reconstruction. I have completed a course in Visual Statement FX3 diagramming and animation software and I am an authorised user of the software. I have attended workshops with DSD covering the use of PC Crash simulation software.
I have lectured on a number of Police training courses including the City and Guilds of London Certificate in Road Accident Investigation, specialist courses for police accident investigators, and courses on the interpretation of vehicle damage. I have authored a number of research papers and presented them at conferences. I provided a workshop for collision investigators at the 2011 ITAI Conference.
I have given evidence at all levels of UK Court including Inquests and Courts Martial. I currently provide expert advice on road traffic collisions to police collision investigation units, highway authorities, solicitors and insurers.