Day 9: Chief crash investigator says treatment of Bisard's blood 'unusual' in his experience
Last Updated: 44 days ago
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The trial against an Indianapolis officer accused of DUI in a deadly crash continued Thursday, just one day after the judge criticized the police department for allowing someone to leak witness testimonies.
Suspended Officer David Bisard crashed into a group of motorcyclists in August 2010. Eric Wells died in the crash, and two others, Mary Wells and Kurt Weekly, were seriously injured.
Investigators said blood tests showed Bisard had a blood-alcohol level more than twice Indiana's legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of the crash.
An accident reconstructionist was expected to take the stand Thursday to show jurors an animated video recreating the crash.
On Wednesday, it was revealed in court that a member of IMPD had been attending the trial and sending daily summaries of testimony to others in the department, including some on the witness list.
UPDATE: 4 p.m. -- For the second straight day, testimony centered directly on the Bisard crash. But today was the day that Bisard's defense team went after one of the state's star witnesses, his analysis of the crash and how he interpreted the results.
Sgt. Doug Heustis, the Metro police department's chief crash investigator, acknowledged under cross-examination by the defense, that he prepared three crash reports for the Indiana State Police, and three for the prosecution of the case. And he admitted to errors and revisions in calculations that resulted in speeds that widely differed from the State's first crash expert.
The private consultant estimated that Bisard was traveling at 76mph before the crash and then 60-mph per hour at moment of impact. Heustis testified that Bisard was traveling at 60-miles an hour and then struck the first motorcycle at 44-mph.
Both men used data taken from the power train crash module and the airbag crash module to make their calculations.
Heustis also listed the primary cause of the crash as excessive speed and not alcohol.
Regarding the two vials of Bisard's blood taken after the crash, Heustis testified that he took the samples to the state toxicology lab three days after the crash. Two weeks later, he was ordered to retrieve the blood and return it to the IMPD property room untested.
Heustis told the court that never once in his 13-years as an accident investigator had he ever been ordered to go back to the state toxicology lab to bring a blood sample back to the IMPD property room.
"That was unusual, at least in my experience," Heustis said.
The sample also came back in a different package. Heustis testified that he dropped the blood vials off in a sealed gummy manila envelope. When he picked the untested samples back up, they were in an unsealed Styrofoam box with a rubber band around it, he said.
Bisard's defense attorney John Kautzman asked Heustis whether the change in packaging set off an "bells and whistles" in his mind.
"It didn't raise any red flags for me," Heustis said.
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