FLINT — There was a spectacular car crash Thursday afternoon at Bluff and Cadillac streets in this city, on the campus of Kettering University.
Just as there was supposed to be.
Kettering professor Massoud Tavakoli hosted the fall conference of the Michigan Association of Traffic Accident Investigators at Kettering’s campus Thursday, and to cap the day, staged a three-car high speed pileup.
A 3,500-pound full-size van, piloted by radio control, was accelerated to about 50 mph and intentionally plowed into a full-size sedan, which in turn struck a compact car.
The van smacked into the full-size car a bit off-center and seemed to crawl right up its trunk, causing the van to roll onto its side to the right, as the full-size car rolled onto its side to the left. The third compact car emerged relatively unscathed.
Immediately after the wreck, the traffic investigators on scene worked the accident, taking measurements and writing reports.
The accident was intended to help train professional accident investigators in different types of crash event reconstruction. And it gave Kettering students in Tavakoli’s class an opportunity to analyze a real crash event — some even opted to have it count as their final exam.
Flint fire and police filmed the wreck from overhead fire ladders, and the crash was also recorded by Kettering’s high speed cameras.
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Tavakoli said Kettering is one of the few colleges with an undergraduate program in traffic accident reconstruction, complete with a 30-mph crash sled.
More about Kettering’s crash safety program at https://www.kettering.edu/our-research-labs/crash-safety-center/ksc-education.