About Heath Jackson
Heath's professional background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has over 28 years of law enforcement experience with the City of Mesquite Police Department. This time includes over 10 years of experience in the traffic unit, where he received specialized training in the area of crash reconstruction. His primary duties in the traffic unit were hazardous enforcement (i.e. the types of traffic violations that lead to crashes) and the investigation and reconstruction of motor vehicle crashes. These crashes were primarily of a serious or fatal nature. His responsibilities also included filing applicable charges related to the crashes he investigated. These charges included felonies, misdemeanors, and citations for hazardous traffic violations which contributed to a given crash. His duties also included testifying in grand jury hearings, municipal court, county court, civil court, and depositions regarding the factors which led to a given collision. During his police career, he received 93 commendations and awards. These awards included: supervisory/civilian commendations, 25-Year Safe Driving Award, Field Training Officer of the Year (3 times), Officer of the Year from various civic organizations (5 times), and City of Mesquite Police Officer of the Year (2012). During his time in the traffic unit, he provided crash reconstruction assistance to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office on cases outside of his jurisdiction. This assistance included expert analysis of various fatality crash cases filed by other cities. Examples of the assistance he provided were crush analysis to determine vehicle speed from energy dissipated in a notable crash in Dallas and validation of event recorder data for a vehicle that killed a Dallas Police motorcycle officer. The EDR validation was performed through use of advanced reconstruction methods.
His training includes basic, intermediate, advanced, reconstruction-level, and advanced reconstruction-level crash investigation. His training also includes police traffic direction instructor training, Stop Stick instructor training, standard field sobriety testing, nighttime accidents/visibility, commercial vehicle conspicuity, auto-pedestrian versus motor vehicle crash reconstruction, motorcycle crash reconstruction, commercial motor vehicle crash reconstruction, crush energy applications, video analysis for crash reconstruction, and human factors (i.e. driver perception-response times) analysis. He is a trained/licensed user of Response software from Driver Research Institute, which provides courtroom accepted driver perception response calculations based upon available peer-reviewed research. He has also been trained to download and analyze crash data contained within crashed vehicles (i.e. event data recorders or “black boxes”) and utilize the data as part of a situationally complete reconstruction. He has also participated in numerous live crash testing exercises, where accepted crash reconstruction methodologies are applied to test crash results and then compared to the known speeds of the test vehicles at impact. At the police department, he was the primary instructor for crash investigation and traffic direction at the police academy. He was also a traffic law instructor.
Over the course of his career, he has investigated thousands of motor vehicle crashes, all of which included a determination of the contributing factors which led to them, based upon the available evidence. He honorably retired from Mesquite Police Department in 2020 and created Closing Speed Consulting, a state-licensed crash reconstruction company. He is a licensed private investigator through the Texas Department of Public Safety.
He is a member of the National Association of Accident Reconstruction Professionals (NAPARS), the Texas Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (TAARS), and the International Network of Crash Reconstructionists (INCR). His expert listings include the Crash Hub and Round Table Group Expert Directory (formerly Thomson Reuters). He has also been hired by other expert finder organizations to investigate collisions, evaluate the evidence, and provide an opinion as to why they occurred.