Princess Diana Crash Reconstruction

Question on 3D Simulation/msmac3D/HVOSM and other 3D Simulation models
MSI
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Re: Princess Diana Crash Reconstruction

Post by MSI »

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Comment to one of our YouTube Videos of our Crash Reconstruction:
  • They should've sued the French roads authority for an unsafe dangerous road. Those pillars were an accident waiting to happen

Our Response:
  • In the US many road and vehicle safety items have been implemented as a result of lawsuits.
    Also due to the 1960s highway safety act highway safety agencies (NHTSA and NTSB) were formed to investigate crashes, find out where and why people are injured and killed on the highways and implement changes to improve safety.
    You will find barriers in front of ALL bridge supports in the US!
    And barriers to keep errant vehicles from running off the road!
    In France, it is my understanding that they STILL do not have any type of barrier to prevent an errant vehicle from running into one of those posts?!!
    However in the past 23 years i haven't read about any crashes in that location causing more deaths or injuries.
    For more information on the history of vehicle and highway safety in the US see Also see a summary of our work in the field of highway safety:
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MSI
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Re: Princess Diana Crash Reconstruction

Post by MSI »

Recent comment on our Youtube video of the crash:
  • Seriously, which idiot designs tunnel expressways with exposed pillars instead of concrete safety barriers. Idiotic. Poor safety construction standards.
Our response:
  • Not sure when that bridge was designed and installed, however it may not have been standard to put protective barriers in front of support pillars adjacent to travel lanes.
    It is surprising that the French government hasn't installed a safety barrier in front of those pillars.
    However interesting recent observation: Walking in Nashville, TN saw exposed ROUND pillars (see photo below)
    the address was 316 Woodland St Nashville TN
    So guess many jurisdictions have exposed support beams and so the French situation is not unique.
    316 Woodland St.png
    316 Woodland St.png (233.31 KiB) Viewed 904 times
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MSI
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Re: Princess Diana Crash Reconstruction

Post by MSI »

TRL on Linkedin posted up an article: Which includes:
  • In January 2004, the UK’s inquest opened into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed. Soon after the Met team were established, we were contacted by the Metropolitan Police’s lead investigator to discuss the assistance that TRL could offer the investigation. These discussions led to one of the most in-depth and innovative collision investigations of its time.

    Having developed applications for new technologies in collision investigation, particularly 3D laser scanning, collision simulation and 3D visualization, and having introduced these methods to the UK courts for the first time during this period; my team and I at TRL were able to offer expertise in both conventional collision investigation and new cutting-edge methods. Applying these methods, we laser scanned the collision site in Paris, created the complex 3D road geometry of the approach to the Alma Tunnel and simulated the motion of the Mercedes. This approach was underpinned by extensive validation of the simulation model with a duplicate Mercedes S280 on TRL’s test track in Berkshire. This simulation enabled detailed analysis of the Mercedes’s movements as it approached and entered the tunnel, its loss of control whilst avoiding a vehicle near the tunnel entrance, the driver’s response and the ultimate collision with the 13th unprotected central pillar from the eastern entrance.
Comment
  • 2004 was early to be using 3D laser scanning technology. Bravo for being at the cutting edge TRL.
    For the 3D crash simulation we did in 1998 for 48 hours/CBS News we built the terrain models by hand and digitized the measured tire mark, etc evidence
    • With some adjustments to the 'measured' marks as we found some had issues once we started simulating and trying to match the marks
    This allowed for direct evidence matching of the simulated tire marks with the measured tire marks so speed and control inputs could be adjusted to further refine the simulation reconstruction.

    As an aside...We were somewhat surprised that we never heard a word from the 2004 UK inquest commission? You'd think they'd consider contacting us to check/verify/compare our 1998 work with their investigation/crash reconstruction.
    Guess an over the pond oversight! :-)

    Today 3D Laser scanning is used extensively in the crash reconstruction community. Our msmac3D program has abilities and options to drive the 3D simulation on the 3D scans/images of the evidence
    See our vrml file capability with msmac3D Graphics demo
    • all scan files can easily be saved as vrml files!
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Re: Princess Diana Crash Reconstruction

Post by MSI »

July 31, 2022 Comment posted to our Youtube Video presentation of Diana Crash reconstruction:
  • The car was a major problem...it had been in a major rollover crash and was almost completely rebuilt. The car was known to behave erratically and drivers did not think it was right. Her driver was probably drunk, Princess Diana was not wearing a seatbelt...she was also sitting in the seat where the least forces acted during the rapid deceleration of impact and the subsequent rotation across the two lanes....A working auto-tensioning seatbelt, if buckled, would have saved her life and probably everyone else in the defective car.
Our Reply:
  • Not sure on the pre-crash rollover rebuild. Please send link to reputable source:did that come out in the Uk inquiry? If not its probably hyped BS.
    And as far as survival, had they all had seat belts on they had ‘a best chance’ at survival but not guaranteed (especially the front seats with airbags and not having the rear seat unbelted passengers loading them after bad deployment)
    BUT
    a 50+ mph speed change is very high and can cause aortal separation, etc and is not guaranteed survival.
    You are correct that in an offset collision seated location relative to the line of the collision force may be different due to rotation of the vehicle. But not that much
    However In response I may post up the acceleration at each location to the thread “acceleration at locations other than CG” for a hypothetically similar crash. See this thread in the next few days DeltaV/Accel at location other than CG?
We also split off some information in a new Thread
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Re: Princess Diana Crash Reconstruction

Post by MSI »

Additional comment posted to the Youtube Video presentation of Diana Crash reconstruction::
  • Very interesting and highly technical...I give my students the analogy of Kepler's Law of planetary orbits to describe the relative decelerations and "swept areas" during a violent action in the same short time period. Stapp survived deceleration from 632mph to zero in around two seconds surviving approx .45 g force at commence of water brake deceleration.
    Many sources, all reliable will confirm car's history..it was stolen in Paris and crashed, written off by insurance, subsequently bought by a mechanic and repaired. Other drivers for Etoile limousines have stated the car was difficult to handle at speeds over 45 km/h.
And our response:
  • In a search for sources most seem conspiracy theory 'news' sources, none from legitimate news sources. Did the 'rolled over totaled vehicle' issue ever come up in the UK inquiry? if so please send any links.
  • On the DeltaV by position:
    • Excellent observation! Had not addressed that! so...I did a msmac3D evaluation of a similar angled offset crash and see that the RR location is the least DeltaV (41.9 MPH) whereas most other locations are 50 MPH or greater
      • For similar crash simulation where CG DeltaV approximately 50 MPH...
        • i need to reload our actual crash reconstruction simulation from 1998, it was on a RISC6000 mini computer.
        • The Pentium PC was just coming around in 1996...see our Why develop for the PC from 1996
      And for ANY DeltaV survival is never guaranteed. Obviously 41 MPH is better than 50+. Also i don't think comparisons with the Stapp test is appropriate...It was a sustained deceleration with peak of ~40 Gs (water decelleration and 4 point harness, etc.) however will give the acceleration traces a look/see in the near future since interesting comparison.
    For a summary of the DeltaVs etc please see video and information below. We created this video of our msmac3D collision simulation:
    The msmac3D summary is as follows:
    summary1.jpg
    summary1.jpg (23.38 KiB) Viewed 311 times
    The chart of the msmac3D accelerations:
    acceleration traces.jpg
    acceleration traces.jpg (109.09 KiB) Viewed 311 times
    and the summary of the smacthp DeltaVs from the msmac3D crash reconstrution:
    • Note that the msmac3D convention for X,Y,Z coordinates per the aeronautical sign convention (Z positive toward the earth!) (not cartesian (Z comin at you from your screen!)
      acceleration summaries.jpg
      acceleration summaries.jpg (389.23 KiB) Viewed 311 times
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MSI
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Re: Princess Diana Crash Reconstruction

Post by MSI »

Another comment posted up to one of our videos of the crash:
Comment
  • That mercedes had a very dodgy past and that night it was the only one available
Our Response:
  • We've heard comments related to that, however, can you provide a legitimate news source which documents the 'dodgy past'. And the loss of control of the vehicle was due to excess speed for the downward left turn slope into the tunnel as the driver clipped the mysterious Uno and then in trying to recover overcorrected, lost contol and crashed into post#13.
Their additional comment:
  • watch the documentary death of diana the incredible revelation.
Our response:
  • i looked for, found and quickly watched the conspiracy theory speculative show: Here is our initial response and we may provide more detail at a later time:
    • i took a quick look and put it on par with the speculative book covered by Dr Phil a while back
      • which had the car at OVER 100 MPH!!?? and bouncing from side to side in the tunnel?
      And it looks like they used one? or both of the 'authors' from Dr Phil in the documentary! Brilliant!
      A bunch of speculative nonsense.
      • To think a totaled , multiply rolled over car was restored and then sold to an executive limo service?
      • Does not France have laws where you have to reveal that a car was totaled as part of a sale?
      • And the UK inquiry missed this? why? because it probably wasn't 'totaled' and they simply ran with speculation to feed the conspiracy folks.
      Provide documentation of
      • police report on the theft and rollover crash...
      • documentation of the repair work performed
        • the roof would have to be repaired and soooo much more
        and then
      • the illegal sale hiding the fact it was totaled?
      Obviously on a show folks interviewed can say ANYTHING
      but
      show me the proof!
      and even IF TRUE, it has nothing to do with the control loss.
    The program did NOT report that had the driver NOT been drunk, NOT speeding and had there been simple barriers in front of the bridge supports,
    NO fatalities.
Additional comment:
  • chauffeurs who worked for etoile didn't like driving it and was difficult to control above 40
Our Response:
  • That may be, that may not be...
    HUGE question:
    • how and why would this have been hidden?
    • Didn't the police and UK inquiry interview these folks?
    Now 20 years later and with folks hawking and hoping to sell a book and documentary on the crash
    They remember?
    Why is it ONLY for a speculative show that they decide to remember the sketchy car?
    And MOST IMPORTANTLY
    sketchy or not
    • the car was travelling 70+ MPH down a grade to the left into the tunnel
    • The driver ran wide on the curve due to speed
    • The vehicle interacted slightly with the Uno
    • The driver's drunken over reaction and swerve first to left away from the UNO then to right to try to square with the lane and then back to the left into the post#13.
    Not a sign of a sketchy vehicle, more a sign of a sketchy, speeding, drunk driver.

    i understand the documentary is very professionally done, however it contains wild speculative sensationalism merely to feed folks things because it was a tragedy and folks simply can't accept that these type of dunk speeding crashes happen all the time.
    but of course they left out and i reemphasize:
    Had the bridge support posts had any tpe of barrie infront of them they would have redirected the vehicle and produces scrapes on the car and not much more.
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