ATLANTIC CITY — Crashing two cars at medium speeds in a controlled environment was meant to be a safe experiment.
That was until an Ohio man, a radio operator for the experiment, got in the way of a loose cable that whipped him in the abdomen, causing him to fall on the asphalt at Bader Field on Wednesday afternoon.
The accident happened as part of the annual convention for accident reconstructionists in the country, as well as some from Canada, which is being hosted by the New Jersey Association of Accident Reconstructionists in Atlantic City this week.
It is a regional event that is held every fifth year in Atlantic City and demonstrates various scenarios in order to validate formulas used by reconstructionists, according to NJAAR board member, and former city police Sgt. Robert Clarke.
Due to the sluggish coastal storm affecting the area, strong wind gusts were blowing over the field while the demonstration and luncheon was taking place.
The experiment was slated to begin at 1 p.m.
Crash experts set up a Ford minivan and a Hyundai car with a black box and remote-controlled brake system. Both attached through a pulley system to a pickup truck which would be pulling them together at about 40 mph to simulate a T-bone crash.
It’s all just basic trigonometry and physics, said State Police Det. Sergeant Matt Razukas.
But the experiment ended abruptly just as it was starting. A cable came loose and, because it was being pulled by the pickup, struck Russell Strickland, of Cincinnati. He was rushed to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus.
Clarke said he did not break any bones but he was badly bruised from the incident and would be released by tomorrow.
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