A recent case highlights how SMC relies on CGS Labs Autopath. SMC was hired to provide expert witness services for a truck/pedestrian accident at a gas station. The pedestrian’s counsel asked SMC to examine traffic flow patterns and vehicle clearances, to analyze how site design and construction might have contributed to the accident.

Strenk Management Consulting LLC recently contacted CGS Labs looking for a software solution to analyze a vehicle movement in the forecourt area of a gas station in New York. The vehicle movement led to a pedestrian being crushed between the pump island bollard and the back of the vehicle. This incident was now proceeding to court, and Strenk needed to be able to provide an expert witness report on what had taken place.

CGS Labs was able to advise Strenk that Autopath would be suitable for this analysis and were able to readily provide them with examples for their situation. The required vehicle was already readily available in the library, and Autopath includes the capability to download accurate aerial imagery from google maps.

SMC recreated the station design in Autopath, then used the design to create a simulation of the circumstances of the accident. Autopath includes a library of hundreds of truck and car models, so SMC was able to recreate the scene of the accident using a model of the exact truck involved. They also used an aerial photo of the scene as well as the gas station blueprint as an underlay to the drawing, to verify the technical drawing and simulation matched the scene.

SMC’s study in Autopath discovered the station design did not provide adequate clearances for the single unit truck with a 20 ft wheelbase – Freightliner FL60 which was refilling at the station.

Autopath includes a feature to account for tail swing, which calculates how much swing the rear overhang of a truck needs during turns. The tight space the truck occupied meant that when the driver was pulling out, tail swing caused the rear of the truck to hit a bollard, the concrete pole protecting the nearby gas pump. SMC determined the tail swing pinned the pedestrian against the bollard, a finding consistent with witness testimony.

SMC created an animation from the drawing and simulation, to illustrate the accident using technically accurate information from the site. “At trial, I will be asked about my qualifications and my expert opinion,” explains Strenk. “I can explain the situation and I can show the court a bonafide technical simulation. It is one thing to testify facts,” Strenk notes. “It is another to put it on the big screen as a rendering and simulation. It shows where and how the crushing happened. Autopath technology modeled the tail swing perfectly. It made for a thoroughly convincing presentation.“

" Autopath is very efficient. We will be using Autopath for every case like this from now on. "

— Don Strenk, President

About Strenk Management Consulting LLC

Strenk Management Consulting (SMC, RetailGasoline.com) is a California-based company providing business support for gasoline stations and convenience stores. Company services include informational support during legal disputes.

Since this was potentially a one-off requirement for Strenk management, they opted to purchase a 90-day subscription of Autopath, and even though they had never used the software before, their Junior Engineer was able to quickly get up to speed with the application. CGS Labs supported them through their journey, providing a few key pointers that allowed them to produce the details they required.

Key focus points of their Autopath Pro usage:

  • Unique usage of a Vehicle tracking application.
  • Never used a vehicle tracking application before.
  • Purchased a 90-day subscription to undertake the work.
  • Work was able to be undertaken by a Junior Engineer with minimal support.
  • CGS Labs were able to answer any questions they had in a timely manner.

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