ALLEN COUNTY – The prosecutors in the David Bisard case gave jurors a view of the Aug. 6, 2010, fatal crash that only the driver of the patrol car could have seen.
Indianapolis Metropolitan police Sergeant Steve Park was enlisted to drive a patrol car similar to Officer Bisard’s in order to videotape a re-enactment of the conditions present the day a motorcyclist was killed and two others injured in an alleged drunk driving crash.
“It was so hard to get up to 76 miles per hour,” said Park of the five or six test runs he made for the benefit of the camera. “I’ll be honest with you…it was scary.”
On Aug. 6, 2012, two years to the day under similar weather conditions, Park and a consulting engineer made the run westbound on 56th Street over I-465 on the northeast side toward Brendon Way South Drive.
Two motorcycles, ridden by Eric Wells, Kurt Weekly and Mary Mills, waited at a stoplight, unaware that Bisard was approaching at a high rate of speed on a voluntary run with lights and sirens operating.
“Clearly for the first time the jury sees the speed the squad car was going in relation to the stopped motorcyclists,” said Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. “They can put it in context. it gives them something to look at.”
The prosecutor produced three animation videos for the jury.
The first was shot at ground level as the patrol car in the re-enactment approached and sped by.
The second was shot from a camera mounted on the dashboard of the police car as it accelerated toward the stoplight and came to an abrupt halt into a group of animated motorcycles.
The third video was an aerial view of the patrol car’s approach that morphed into a simulated collision and then dissolved into actual photographs of the crash scene.
Mary Wells, mother of the biker killed in the crash, choked back tears as she witnessed the simulated death of her son.
“I think that we have explained when it comes to the recklessness charge…to put it in context for the jury how fast that squad car came up on these motorcyclists and how little the motorcyclists…well…they couldn’t do anything to avoid being struck,” said Robinson.
Earlier James Casassa, an accident reconstruction engineer, testified that the brakes on Bisard’s car did not fail, as the defense contends, but rather the officer outdrove the capabilities of his braking system’s ability to stop short of the crash scene.
Casassa said that in excess of 60 miles per hour, Bisard would have needed 240 feet to stop safely before striking the bikers. The skid mark from his patrol car measured 61 feet.
Casassa and defense attorney John Kautzman sparred over the industry specifications of the 2005 Ford Crown Victoria that Bisard drove and its anti-lock braking system with the engineer claiming that the system failed to live up to its specifications the day of the crash.
Previously, jurors heard from Robert Mc Curdy, supervisor of the Marion County Forensics Services Agency, who personally tested a second vial of Bisard’s blood taken on the day of the crash.
McCurdy told the jury he got “very good data” from the sample that showed that Bisard’s blood alcohol level was two times above the legal limit to drive.
After calling approximately 60 witnesses, the State rested its case.
The defense will introduce the first of its estimated 30 witnesses Tuesday morning.
Closing arguments won’t likely be held until the start of next week.