Heath (2021)
Heath Jackson 2012 (Traffic Unit)

Heath Jackson

Owner/Consultant/Retired Traffic Officer

My professional background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. I have 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 I received specialized training in the area of crash reconstruction. My primary duties in the traffic unit were hazardous enforcement and the investigation and reconstruction of motor vehicle crashes, primarily of a serious or fatal nature.  My responsibilities also included filing applicable charges related to the crashes I investigated. These charges included felonies, misdemeanors, and citations for hazardous traffic violations which contributed to a given crash.  My duties included forensic mapping, photographing crash scene evidence, and making calculations of vehicle speeds based upon momentum analysis, airborne scenarios, crush analysis (speed from energy), slide-to-stop scenarios, rollover scenarios, crash data recorded by a vehicle, video analysis, traffic signal light analysis, etc. My 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 my police career, I received 94 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 my time in the traffic unit, I provided crash reconstruction assistance to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office on cases outside my jurisdiction.  This assistance included expert analysis of various fatality crash cases filed by other cities. Examples of the assistance I provided are crush analysis to determine vehicle speed from energy dissipated 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 (i.e. the Law of Cosines).

My training includes basic, intermediate, advanced, reconstruction-level, and advanced reconstruction-level crash investigation. My 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. perception/reaction) analysis. I am a trained/licensed user of Interactive Driver Response Research software, which provides courtroom accepted driver perception response calculations based upon available peer-reviewed research. I have 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. I have 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.  I was also the primary instructor for crash investigation and traffic direction at the police academy. I was also a traffic law instructor.

Over the course of my career I have 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. I honorably retired from Mesquite Police Department in 2020 and own Closing Speed Consulting, a state-licensed crash reconstruction company, which began in 2017 at the recommendation of an attorney. I am a licensed private investigator through the Texas Department of Public Safety. Closing Speed Consulting offers crash investigation, crash reconstruction, forensic mapping (drone), event data recording downloads/analysis, and other services. My clients include major insurance carriers, district attorneys, expert locator organizations, and insurance/personal injury attorneys, who hire me to investigate crashes and provide an opinion as to how and why a given collision occurred.

I am a member of the National Association of Accident Reconstruction Professionals (NAPARS), the Texas Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (TAARS), and am a member of the International Network of Crash Reconstructionists (INCR). My expert listings include the Crash Hub and Round Table Group Expert Directory (formerly Thomson Reuters). I have also been hired by other expert finder organizations to investigate collisions, evaluate the evidence, and provide an opinion as to why they occurred.