See also: Todd Wilson CFPD Report
See also:
Todd Wilson Criminal Trial
See also:
Todd Wilson Civil Trial

Todd Wilson

Criminal Trial Deposition May 5, 1997


Page 3

1 TODD WILSON

2 being produced, sworn as hereinafter certified and

3 examined on behalf of the Defendant, testified as

4 follows:

5 DIRECT EXAMINATION

6 BY MR. CORRELL

7 Q. Will you state your name, please.

8 A. Todd Wilson.

9 Q. And, Mr. Wilson, you're with the

10 Cedar Falls Police Department; is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. For how many years have you been with

13 the Cedar Falls Police department?

14 A. 15.

15 Q. Do you have any law enforcement

16 experience with any other agencies other than Cedar

17 Falls Police?

18 A. I was a military police officer in the

19 Marine Corps.

20 Q. For how many years?

21 A. Three years.

22 Q. What is your present rank in the

23 Cedar Falls Police Department?

24 A. Fright now I'm acting captain of

25 investigations.

 

Page 4

1 Q. What would have been your position back

2 on October 4, 1996?

3 A. Sergeant in charge of training and

4 community service.

5 Q. With regard to my client, Tracy Rokes,

6 you became involved in an investigation concerning

7 him in the fall of 1996; is that correct?

8 A. Yes.

9. Q. Did you know him prior to that?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Have you reviewed your reports prior to

12 this deposition?

13 A. Just a cursory inspection. I didn't

14 study them, no.

15 Q. It is my understanding from having read

16 those notes and those reports that there is a time

17 frame from which this -- at approximately which

18 this accident took place. Do you know what time

19 that is without making reference to your report?

20 A. Around 11:00.

21 Q. Okay. And it is my understanding that

22 from you reports there's an indication that the

23 earliest it could have been was approximately 10:55

24 and the latest 11:01. Do you recall that?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 5

1 Q. And are those times accurate in the best

2 of your recollection at this time?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And what information did you have that

5 you base that conclusion on?

6 A. Just the police reports.

7 Q. And the time that there was a call that

8 came in, it was already into dispatch at 11:01; is

9 that correct?

10 A. The CAD system, you mean?

11 Q. I'm not familiar with that terminology.

12 A. It's just the dispatching -- I guess

13 it's the software they use.

14 Q. Is that what you would have utilized,

15 that system, to say, "We know it happened sometime

16 prior to this because we had a call in reporting it

17 at 11:01?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And how much in front of that is just

20 basically an estimate; am I correct in that?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. With regard to where you were working;

23 it's my understanding from reading your reports

24 that you were working on an off-duty job at the

25 time you were dispatched; is that correct?

 

Page 6

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And what kind of radio equipment of

3 communication did you have on your person at that

4 time that caused you to be able to be contacted?

5 A. My police radio.

6 Q. Who dispatched you?

7 A. Captain Lashbrook.

8 Q. And why would you have been dispatched

9 to that scene?

10 A. Well, to make a correction, I wasn't

11 dispatched. In overhearing the conversation on the

12 radio, it was my understanding that this was a

13 personal injury accident with serious injury, and

14 at that particular time I was -- there was three of

15 us on the police department that are trained in

16 accident investigation, advanced accident

17 investigation, and I was the only one available at

18 that time, and I contacted Captain Lashbrook and

19 advised him that I would be able if he needed.

20 Q. Okay. And you would have been working

21 down in the general vicinity of University and Main

22 Street in Cedar Falls at the time of that

23 communication with Lashbrook?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Did you note the time specifically on

 

Page 7

1 on any sheet of paper or mentally that you can tell us

2 at the time you received -- or that you had that

3 communication with Mr. Lashbrook?

4 A. It was around 11:15.

5 Q. And when you went to the scene, that

6 would be what, no more than five minutes from your

7 location?

8 A. If I can remember right, I think I went

9 down to the police station to pick up equipment and

10 then proceeded out to the scene.

11 Q. And I think that's in the report, too,

12 that you indicated you did that.

13 What time would you have arrived at the

14 scene?

15 A. Without looking at my notes, I'm just

16 guessing probably around 25 after 11 or 11:30.

17 Q. Okay. And do you have any notes -- I

18 didn't see that you have that in your police

19 report. Would there be any notes that you could

20 refer to that you have available to you?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Are there any other notes anyplace that

23 you would have kept that would indicate that? Or

24 did you basically not keep your notes after you

25 typed your report?

 

Page 8

1 A. I've got just a sketch drawing, is the

2 only notes that I have.

3 Q. Okay. So it's your best estimate at

4 approximately 11:25 to 11:30 you would have arrived

5 at Highway 58 and Greenhill Road?

6 A. Yes. Again that should have been noted

7 on the computer readout through the CAD system.

8 Q. Okay. And when you got there, was the

9 man that you now know and through your

10 investigation is at my right, you know that to be

11 Tracy Rokes; correct?

12 A. Was he there?

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. He was in the ambulance at the time.

15 Q. Did you have any contact or

16 communication with him in the ambulance?

17 A. No.

18 Q. How long did you stay at the scene of 58

19 and Greenhill Road Approximately?

20 A. Approximately hour, hour and a half.

21 Q. At the scene what was the purpose of

22 your staying there that long?

23 A. To basically do the technical

24 investigation.

25 Q. Okay. And what would have been -- as

 

Page 9

1 far as the rank of the people that would have been

2 at the scene, would you have been the officer in

3 charge?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And would you then ultimate --

6 ultimately you went up to Sartori Hospital, as I

7 understand it, later from the scene; is that

8 correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Would you have been the officer in

11 charge up at Sartori as far as this case is

12 concerned?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Who would have that been?

15 A. Well, ultimately Captain Lashbrook was

16 in charge of the investigation. Sergeant Liljegren

17 was working that night. He would have been in

18 charge of their shift people.

19 Q. It's my understanding Mr. Liljegren was

20 not up at Sartori. Do you have a different --

21 A. I didn't see him there.

22 Q. Assuming that he was not up there, who

23 would have been the officer in charge of Sartori

24 that night?

25 A. What portion of the night?

 

Page 10

1 Q. Between the time of Mr. Rokes's arrival

2 until his leaving the hospital.

3 A. The officers would have answered to

4 Captain Lashbrook.

5 Q. Would there have been an officer at the

6 scene -- isn't there always one officer at the

7 scene who was in charge?

8 A. Usually there's an officer assigned that

9 has -- assigned to the case, yes.

10 Q. And it was my understanding --reading

11 the reports it's my belief that that was you. Am I

12 correct in that?

13 A. No. Usually in a case like this, I just

14 assist with the technical investigation. They're

15 in charge of taking statements, identifying

16 witnesses and so forth. My part is the case

17 usually is just the technical investigation.

18 Q. With regard to the people who actually

19 worked on the case, other than Mr. Lashbrook, who

20 would have been the officer in charge of this

21 investigation?

22 A. I don't understand what you're asking.

23 Q. Well, it's my understanding

24 Mr. Lashbrook really didn't do any investigation.

25 A. No.

 

Page 11

1 Q. He didn't interview anybody, he didn't

2 go to the scene, he didn't go to the hospital. Who

3 other than Mr. Lashbrook would have been the

4 officer in charge of the investigation?

5 A. I guess I would be, to a point.

6 Q. Okay. When you were at the scene, did

7 you interview any witnesses?

8 A. No.

9 Q. When you were at the scene, did you go

10 examine both of the vehicles?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Had you seen the Oldsmobile down on

13 University earlier in the evening?

14 A. No.

15 Q. With regard to the vehicles, did you

16 look inside both of the vehicles?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did you find any indication of alcohol,

19 beer, wine, in either of the vehicles?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Did you find any empties of any kind in

22 either of the vehicles?

23 A. As far as alcohol is concerned?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. No.

 

Page 12

 

1 Q. Would it be fair to say there was no

2 indication to you that alcohol had been consumed in

3 either of those cars shortly prior to this

4 collision?

5 A. From just the investigation of the

6 vehicles?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. With regard to the lights, did you make

10 note of the lights?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And what was your observation of the

13 light on Greenhill Road that would have been for

14 traffic proceeding from the east to the west?

15 A. It was flashing red.

16 Q. And what was your observation of the

17 light on Highway 58 going from the north towards

18 the south?

19 A. Flashing yellow.

20 Q. Did you make a determination as to

21 whether or not there were any what I would call

22 rumble strips or pavement cuts prior to that

23 intersection for either road?

24 A. There is none.

25 Q. Did you look for that?

Page 13

1 A. I've just traveled the road. No, I did

2 not look for it. I'm familiar with the roadway.

3 Q. You didn't look because you already knew

4 from previous traveling that there was none?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. As far as skid marks, did you notice any

7 skid marks?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did you notice any skid marks that

10 appeared to be brake marks from either vehicle?

11 A. Not from the two vehicles that were

12 involved in this.

13 Q. The brake marks that were out there then

14 would have been from previous --

15 A. There was a previous accident I believe

16 the day before.

17 Q. And were you involved in the

18 investigation of that accident?

19 A. No.

20 Q. And what's your understanding happened

21 on that, at that accident?

22 A. There was I believe a truck involved

23 with a motor vehicle.

24 Q. And at what time of the day was that

25 approximately?

 

Page 14

1 A. I'm not sure.

2 Q. Was that a situation where one of those

3 vehicles was in -- had disobeyed or violated one of

4 the traffic lights?

5 A. I believe so, but I can't say for sure.

6 I wasn't familiar with the accident.

7 Q. Okay. If the traffic lights are

8 operational and people follow them, there can't be

9 an accident out there; would that be correct?

10 A. Unless somebody makes an illegal turn or

11 something like that.

12 Q. Okay. With regard to the yellow

13 flashing light that is for cars heading towards the

14 south, what is your understanding as a law

15 enforcement officer the purpose of that yellow

16 flashing light? What does that put a driver --

17 what responsibility does that put on a driver?

18 A. Use caution.

19 Q. Was there ever any indication from the

20 physical evidence that you observed on that night

21 that indicated that either of these vehicles

22 operated in a way -- in a defensive way or an

23 effort to avoid the collision?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And what did you see in that regard?

 

Page 15

1 A. There was indications that both vehicles

2 attempted to swerve.

3 Q. And what physical evidence was it that

4 you saw that caused you to make that conclusion?

5 A. The scratches on the roadway.

6 Q. What are the distances, how far in front

7 of impact would the distances be were there is an

8 indication of a swerving maneuver?

9 A. It was at impact.

10 Q. But it must have been some short

11 distance before impact, wouldn't it, or otherwise

12 you wouldn't know it?

13 A. The indications -- it was because of the

14 collision itself and how the vehicles met from

15 matching up Mr. Rokes' s vehicle with the Farrell

16 vehicle that indicated that there was an angle at

17 impact, which indicated that they tried to avoid

18 each other.

19 Q. Okay. And so there was nothing -- there

20 wasn't anything on the roadway? It was on the --

21 A. But the scratches on the roadway at

22 impact indicated that they swerved -- that led us

23 to believe that the impact was at an angle, along

24 with physical evidence of the two vehicles that

25 indicated that there was evasive action attempted.

 

Page 16

1 Q. By one or both vehicles?

2 A. Both.

3 Q. Were you able to formulate any opinion

4 as to how far prior to the collision that that

5 evasive action was initiated by either driver?

6 A. Exactly? No.

7 Q. Approximately.

8 A. I would -- approximately -- a split

9 second before impact.

10 Q. In terms of feet prior to impact, how

11 far --

12 A. Well --

13 Q. -- would there be an indication that

14 wheels were turned in an evasive manner?

15 A. Most scientific data that I have

16 indicate that it takes about three-quarters of a

17 second for the brain to register and the body to

18 react to indications that there's danger ahead. So

19 if a person's traveling 45 miles an hour, you're

20 traveling at 1.466 feet per second. I don't have a

21 calculator with me, so -- you're talking a second

22 at 55 miles an hour, so it would be -- excuse me.

23 45 miles an hour. So 45 times 1.466 seconds, so

24 you have to back that up with feet. I don't have

25 my calculator along.

 

Page 17

1 Q. Okay. Is there any physical evidence

2 that indicates which vehicle took the evasive

3 action first?

4 A. I would say Mr. Rokes.

5 Q. And what physical evidence was there

6 that --

7 A. From the indication of the impact, the

8 angle that he hit the Farrell vehicle, along with

9 the scratches on the roadway, indicated that he

10 came on it -- instead of a direct hit, he came at

11 it at an angle.

12 Q. Okay. The roadway is basically

13 unobstructed in the area immediately prior to the

14 intersection for both directions; would that be

15 correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Would it be accurate to say that the --

18 if anything, that the unobstructed vision is at

19 least as long, if not longer, for vehicles headed

20 north to south than east to west?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Were you involved in the -- gathering

23 any information regarding the traffic light at the

24 intersection of South Main and Greenhill Road?

25 A. Maybe I should rephrase that in case --

 

Page 18

 

1 at a distance which I believe is approximately

2 four-tenths of a mile to the east of Greenhill

3 Road, Greenhill intersects with South Main; is that

4 accurate?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And the light at -- there is a traffic

7 control light for Greenhill and South Main, roughly

8 the same general type of light as there is at 58

9 and Greenhill; is that also correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Are you familiar with how that light was

12 operating on October 4, the evening hours of

13 October 4, 1996.

14 A. I can't remember if I had -- I know I

15 had them check 58 and Greenhill, but I can't

16 remember if I had them check Main and Greenhill.

17 Q. As we sit her today, do you have

18 anything in your reports or anything that you

19 recall that you had done regarding that particular

20 streetlight?

21 A. We had -- eventually I think we had a

22 check to see when -- I can't remember right

23 offhand, no. I'd have to review my notes.

24 Q. Do you think it was checked and -- does

25 it ring a bell that it was confirmed that that

Page 19

1 light does not go to flashing until after the

2 Greenhill and Highway 58 light goes to flashing?

3 A. I can't remember right offhand now.

4 That could be true.

5 Q. Do you have any independent recollection

6 as we sit here today regarding the operation of the

7 South Main Street light where it intersects with

8 Greenhill Road?

9 A. As far as when it turns to flash?

10 Q. When it turns to flash, how it generally

11 operates.

12 A. I know it generally operates, but I

13 can't tell you exactly what time it turns to flash,

14 no.

15 Q. Okay. What is your understanding how it

16 generally operates?

17 A. It generally operates on a sensor-type

18 road -- roadway sensor. Usually the lights in

19 Cedar Falls change over at !0:00 to flash. I can't

20 say specifically if that one does at exactly 10:00,

21 no.

22 Q. Okay. And what is your understanding of

23 which direction the light is generally green unless

24 the sensor trips it?

25 A. It's generally green for Greenhill Road.

 

Page 20

1 Q. Going east to west or west to east.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And the sensor -- that is interrupted

4 when a car approaches it from South Main either on

5 the north or south side of the road; is that

6 correct?

7 A. To my best recollection, yes.

8 Q. With regard to your leaving the scene

9 and going to the hospital, was that your decision

10 or were you directed to do that?

11 A. that was my decision.

12 Q. And when you went, did you go

13 directly -- or did you go back to the police

14 station or go anyplace before going from the scene

15 up to Sartori Hospital?

16 A. I believe I just went right straight up

17 to the hospital.

18 Q. And with whom, if anybody, did you go on

19 that trip?

20 A. Officer Venenga.

21 Q. Hand Officer Venenga been one of the

22 original officers that arrived at the scene?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And at that point when you went up to

25 the hospital, can you tell me or is there a record

 

Page 21

1 as to what time you arrived at that hospital?

2 A. I'm not sure.

3 Q. Would you have reported in to the

4 dispatching? Would that be preserved anyplace?

5 A. It should be.

6 Q. And what did you do upon your arrival?

7 A. I checked with the hospital staff to

8 determine severity of the injuries to the Rokeses

9 and to Julie Farrell.

10 Q. Do you know any of the parties at all

11 that were involved in the Farrell vehicle? Did you

12 know any of them prior to that point?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Have you met with any of those people

15 subsequent to that time?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And who have you met with from the

18 Farrell vehicle since that time?

19 A. Hill, is it? The Hill --

20 Q. Did you in fact talk to Julie Farrell at

21 the hospital?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And where was she located when you spoke

24 with her?

25 A. In the emergency room.

 

Page 22

1 Q. How soon would you have gone into that

2 emergency room after your arrival at the hospital?

3 A. Within a couple of minutes.

4 Q. When you went in and spoke to her, would

5 that be sometime in the vicinity of 12:30?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Was she conscious when you spoke with

8 her?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did she appear to appropriately respond

11 to your questions?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Were you told by a treating nurse that

14 the suspected problems were fractured ribs?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Were you told that it was anticipated

17 that she would recover from these injuries?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And who told you that?

20 A. Carol Eastman.

21 Q. And were her parents there when you

22 spoke with her, Julie Farrell?

23 A. No in the room with me, no.

24 Q. Was anyone in the room with you when you

25 spoke with Julie Farrell other than you and she?

 

Page 23

1 A. Carol Eastman and Diane Venenga.

2 Q. You did in fact then, based on the

3 condition report that you got, tentatively set up

4 an interview at a future date; is that correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Was a specific day selected for that

7 interview?

8 A. No.

9 Q. It was just basically left that you

10 would get a hold of her or she would get a hold of

11 you later in the week?

12 A. I later talked to her mother and

13 indicated that I would like to talk to her when she

14 felt better.

15 Q. Okay. And was that at all discussed

16 when that might be?

17 A. Generically, we just kind of said the

18 end of the week, depending on her condition.

19 Q. What were you told as to when it was

20 anticipated that she would be released from the

21 hospital?

22 A. They didn't know.

23 Q. Would it be fair to say when you left

24 your interview with Julie Farrell, that you were

25 anticipating and expecting a recovery by her?

 

Page 24

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And did anybody at the hospital, any

3 medical staff at the hospital, ever indicate to you

4 that they did not expect a full recovery?

5 A. Nobody made any indication to me.

6 Q. What was it that Julie Farrell told

7 you -- and please make reference to your notes --

8 during the course of your interview with her?

9 A. Basically that she met with two of

10 her girl friends and they went over to a friend's

11 house and watched some movies, and then they drove

12 up and down University Avenue. I asked her if she

13 had consumed any alcohol that night, and she

14 indicated that no, she had not, and that she was on

15 medication for mono, and that she wasn't allowed to

16 drink anyway.

17 Q. Okay. Did she tell you anything else

18 about what happened, how the accident occurred?

19 A. She basically said -- repeated that she

20 felt it wasn't her fault, that she thought she had

21 yellow light.

22 Q. Okay. Did she basically sat that she

23 never saw the car that hit her until impact?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Is it fair that she never indicated that

 

Page 25

1 she slowed down as she approached the intersection?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you ask her if she was talking to

4 one of her friends shortly prior to the accident?

5 A. She indicted that she was.

6 Q. And isn't that in fact why she indicated

7 that she did not see the vehicle?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And that she had one friend on the

10 driver's -- or excuse me. The passenger shotgun

11 type of position and one person in the middle

12 behind her in the back seat; is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And did she basically say, "Had I not

15 been talking and been watching, I would have seen

16 this car coming?"

17 A. I don't remember that exact statement,

18 no.

19 Q. Is is not, though, fair to say that what

20 she told you is the reason she didn't see the other

21 car, she was chatting with her friends?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you talk to Julie Farrell before you

24 talked to Mr. Rokes?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 26

1 Q. How long did you speak with Mr. --

2 excuse me. How long did you speak with Julie

3 Farrell in the emergency room?

4 A. I'd say less than five minutes.

5 Q. And how long did you speak with her

6 mother?

7 A. Just a short time. Probably five

8 minutes.

9 Q. Was her father there as well?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Are her parents separated?

12 A. I don't know.

13 Q. From what you could judge from her

14 mother, was her mother anticipating that she would

15 recover?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. When you went and spoke with Mr. Rokes,

18 where was he located?

19 A. In an emergency room.

20 Q. And how far away from the emergency room

21 that Miss Farrell was in?

22 A. I believe in the next room.

23 Q. With regard to when you went into that

24 room, was his wife in there?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 27

1 Q. And was Dr. Robitaille in there?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And when you went into that room, was

4 Dr. Robitaille looking him over and giving him some

5 medical attention?

6 A. I think he was just finishing up with

7 him.

8 Q. And when you came into that room, was

9 there some conversation that was taking place

10 between Dr. Robitaille and Mr. Rokes?

11 A. There were. I didn't pay attention. I

12 don't know.

13 Q. With regard to a statement that you have

14 in your report, you make a statement that you heard

15 Mr. Rokes say words to the effect that he had had one

16 too many? Is that what's in your report?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is it correct that he did no make that

19 statement to you?

20 A. He did make the statement to me, yes.

21 Q. Was he making that statement to

22 Mr. Robitaille or Dr. Robitaille or are you saying

23 he made it directly to you?

24 A. He made it to us.

25 Q. When you say "us", who are you referring

 

Page 28

1 to?

2 A. Officer Venenga and myself.

3 Q. With regard to the statement, is it not

4 a fact that he also indicated that he had had some

5 previous problems with his neck? Do you recall

6 that?

7 A. I don't recall specifically, no.

8 Q. Do you recall him having any

9 conversation with Dr. Robitaille about previous

10 neck problems?

11 A. No.

12 Q. With regard to this statement, he did

13 not specifically say he had one too many beers or

14 he had one too many drinks; is that an accurate

15 statement?

16 A. I'm sorry. Could you repeat that?

17 MR. CORRELL: Could you read that back

18 to him, please, Vicki?

19 (The requested portion of the record was

20 read.)

21 A. I guess I still don't understand the

22 question.

23 Q. (MR. CORRELL) Okay. Your report says,

24 and you've testified, you heard him say he had one

25 too many. It is your assumption that he was

 

Page 29

1 referring to drinks or beers; isn't that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. He did not specifically say, "I had one

4 too many beers or one too many drinks;" isn't that

5 correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And isn't it also correct that you did

8 not take this by him to be the equivalent of a

9 confession. You did not take that, is that not

10 correct?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. And father that statement was made, you

13 did not place him under arrest obviously, did you?

14 A. No.

15 Q. How long were you in the room with

16 Mr. Rokes?

17 A. Not very long. Five to ten minutes.

18 Q. Was his wife in there during that whole

19 period of time?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did he and his wife express interest or

22 concern about how the people in the other car were

23 doing?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was his wife upset?

 

Page 30

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Was she crying?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Was there -- why don't you tell me --

5 first of all, you didn't tape-record anything he

6 said, I take it.

7 A. No.

8 Q. What did Mr. Rokes tell you -- again by

9 making reference to your notes. What did he tell

10 you about where he had been and -- this is at the

11 hospital. During that five minutes, what did he

12 tell you about where he had been and what happened

13 immediately prior to the accident?

14 A. They said that they were at Brooster's,

15 they were there for a while, his wife became upset

16 about her mother being ill, they decided to leave,

17 and proceeded down Greenhill Road. He said that he

18 was comforting -- Delonna.

19 MR. ROKES: Right.

20 A. And she was apparently upset about her

21 mother having a heart condition, I believe, and he

22 said that his attention was focused on her. He.

23 said that as he drove -- got near the intersection

24 it was when he realized -- he saw the car and he

25 slammed on the brakes, but he said most of his

 

Page 31

1 attention was on his wife at that time. That's why

2 he was distracted.

3 Q. Okay. And you would have talked to

4 Mr. Rokes and Miss Farrell within -- less than 15

5 minutes apart; would that be correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Is it fair to characterize that what

8 they both told you is hat they were both

9 distracted by other passengers in the cars and

10 that's why they both did not see the other vehicle?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is it fair to say that there was never

13 any statement made by Mr. Rokes that indicated that

14 the consumption of alcohol or beer is what

15 caused this accident?

16 A. That's true.

17 Q. With regard to as the tie you saw him,

18 would it be fair t say that you did not consider

19 him to be intoxicated?

20 A. Form the indications, I mean there was

21 signs of intoxication, yes.

22 Q. You did not include or you did not make

23 any finding that he was intoxicated in your report,

24 did you?

25 A. I didn't run him through sobriety tests

 

Page 32

1 or blood tests or anything like that. It was just

2 the smell of alcohol and so forth.

3 Q. And to the extent that you thought there

4 was any sign, was it because of the odor?

5 A. One of the factors, yes.

6 Q. In your report you wrote about -- you

7 wrote about a six-page report, didn't you.

8 A. I'm not sure.

9 Q. Can you count the pages?

10 A. Five pages.

11 And in those five pages you don't make

12 any statement or any -- draw any conclusion that

13 Mr. Rokes was intoxicated; isn't that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Am I correct?

16 A. Other than the smell of alcohol, no.

17 Q. And isn't that a fair statement as to

18 what your actual observations were?

19 A. Just the alcohol? Is that what you're

20 asking?

21 Q. Isn't you report consistent with what

22 you observed at the hospital that night?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And you would have made that report --

25 when would you have typed that report?

 

Page 33

1 A. The first part of the report I typed

2 within a day or two.

3 Q. Is the whole report typed by you as

4 opposed to dictated?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And in the report that you prepared,

7 there is no indication by you anyplace in that

8 report that you considered Mr. Rokes to be

9 intoxicated or under the influence when you saw him

10 in the hospital; am I correct in that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And what you did note is a strong odor

13 of alcohol in the room in which you discussed -- or

14 talked to him; is that correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And what is your understating of the

17 significance of the strong odor of alcohol?

18 A. At that point it was not a serious

19 personal accident with alcohol involved.

20 Q. All right. I mean do you -- my question

21 wasn't very well expressed. What I meant to imply

22 is what, if any, conclusions did you draw from what

23 you considered to be the strong odor of alcohol

24 emanating from that room?

25 A. Well, I considered the fact that he was

 

page 34

1 operating a motor vehicle and he had alcohol on his

2 breath and there was a personal injury accident.

3 Q. Okay. And at that point in time is it

4 not accurate that you did not draw any conclusion

5 or put anything in a report to conclude that he was

6 operating under the influence?

7 A. That's true.

8 Q. And where you able to tell if any of the

9 alcohol that you smelled in the room could have

10 been released by his wife?

11 A. Could, yes.

12 Q. And is that like a eight-by-ten room or

13 is it a relatively small room?

14 A. It's probably a little bit bigger than

15 this. I don't know what this is.

16 Q. Okay. And were they both sitting

17 together when you talked to them?

18 A. No. He was sitting on a cot and she was

19 off -- as you come in the doorway, she was by the

20 doorway sitting in -- but kind of in the corner.

21 Q. Okay. Am I correct that the basis that

22 you concluded that he had consumed alcohol is when

23 he -- did he tell you had had consumed some alcohol?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And secondly, you smelled it; is that

 

Page 35

1 correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And are those the two things that caused

4 you to conclude that he had consumed alcohol

5 earlier in that night?

6 A. Based on the observations. I mean I

7 noticed he had red watery eyes, but obviously I

8 couldn't tell if hat was from the accident or from

9 the alcohol.

10 Q. He didn't slur his words, did he?

11 A. No.

12 Q. And he was alert and orientated, wasn't

13 he?

14 A. He was basically. I mean he was pretty

15 upset about the whole incident.

16 Q. Did he appear to understand your

17 questions?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And did he give answers back that

20 indicated that he mentally processed your question

21 and it was responding appropriately in kind?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. He wasn't amiss as to the day or the

24 location or the time or anything like that?

25 A. No.

 

Page 36

1 Q. There was nothing in what he said in his

2 conversation to you that would indicate to you that

3 his judgment was impaired at that time; is that

4 correct?

5 A. At the particular time I was talking to

6 him?

7 Q. Yes.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Am I correct?

10 A. Yes, you're correct.

11 Q. And you said you talked to him for about

12 five minutes; is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And had you been of the opinion that he

15 was under the influence, and knowing that there was

16 a personal injury accident, would you not have --

17 if you thought he was under the influence of

18 alcohol, you would have included that in your

19 report, would you not?

20 A. Not necessarily, no.

21 Q. Other than what he told you and the

22 odor, and that he had one -- I mane ha had one eye

23 that was all stitched up, wasn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Those are the only things that indicated

 

Page 37

1 to you that he had consumed any alcohol earlier in

2 the evening; would that be correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. There was nothing about his responses to

5 you, voluntary or involuntary, that would indicate

6 to you he was under the influence of alcohol; is

7 that correct?

8 A. Other than the statement that, "I had

9 too much to drink," there wasn't any indication,

10 no.

11 Q. But in reality -- and I'm not meaning to

12 quibble, but what your report says, he didn't say,

13 "I had too much to drink," did he?

14 A. "I had one too many," I believe is what

15 he said. Having one too many to drink.

16 Q. But did I understand you in your earlier

17 question, the exact words he said was one too many

18 and you made the assumption that he meant drinks?

19 A I have in my report one too many to

20 drink, and I didn't -- I guess I'm -- you have to

21 ask the question. I don't know what -- I just have

22 in my report that he made the statement that, "I

23 had one too many to drink."

24 Q. Do you remember specifically what he

25 said?

 

Page 38

1 A. I didn't put it quotation marks, no, but

2 just having one too many to drink.

3 Q. Okay. Do you recall earlier when you

4 and I were going through the -- what he had told

5 you, it's my understanding that you told me then

6 that he said he had one too many, and you assumed

7 that he meant drinks by that.

8 A. I think it was my understanding from our

9 conversation was that one too many -- he didn't

10 specifically say alcohol, was my understanding that

11 you asked me. He stated he had one too many to

12 drink and I assumed alcohol.

13 Q. Okay. So then I -- as I go back to make

14 certain I have this, those are the totally, his

15 statement to you, and the odor, and the

16 bloodshot -- or the watery eyes; is that what you

17 said?

18 A. Red, watery eyes.

19 Q. When he -- those were what caused you to

20 believe that he had consumed alcohol earlier in the

21 evening; is that correct/

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. There was nothing about his response or

24 his mental faculty or his emotions or anything like

25 that that would have caused you to draw that

 

Page 39

1 conclusion; is that correct?

2 A. That's correct.

3 Q. And am I not also correct that although

4 he -- those observations that you made caused you

5 to believe he had consumed alcohol, you did not

6 reach an opinion that -- while you were talking to

7 him that he was under the influence of alcohol; is

8 that also correct?

9 A. I just made a cursory -- basically I was

10 in there just for the accident itself. I did my --

11 you know, I didn't make a judgment at that point on

12 his ability or his intoxication.

13 Q. So when you left the room, you had not

14 made any determination that he was under the

15 influence; isn't that a fair statement?

16 A. I felt that he was operating a motor

17 vehicle and that he had been drinking. And that

18 was my concern at that point.

19 Q. And I understand that, but in specific

20 answer to my question, when you left that room, you

21 had not reached any opinion that he was operating a

22 motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol; isn't

23 that a fair statement?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Whose idea was it to have Officer

 

Page 40

1 Venenga take Mr. Rokes and his wife home?

2 A. That was me.

3 Q. And their vehicle had -- or was rendered

4 inoperable and was towed away by that time, wasn't

5 it?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And to give them a ride home, that was

8 basically a courtesy, was it not?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And at no point in time when you

11 interviewed him in the hospital did you advise him

12 of any Miranda Warnings; is that correct?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And at no point in the hospital did

15 you -- after -- at any point in the hospital did

16 you place him under arrest?

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. And he would have been free to get up

19 and leave had he chosen to?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And when he got home, he would have been

22 free to -- if he would have chosen to, to get in

23 another car and drive to wherever he wanted to,

24 would he not?

25 No. Well, we would ask that he not.

 

Page 41

1 Q. But I mean he would have legally had

2 that right, would he not?

3 A. Would he have legally? That's a hard

4 question to answer. I don't know -- at that

5 point --

6 Q. Okay. He was not asked to go down to

7 the police station where the Breathalyzer was; if

8 that correct?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. And on that -- at that time did the

11 Cedar Falls Police Department have a certified

12 operational breath Intoxilyzer machine?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And for the purpose of this record, to

15 go from the hospital down to where that machine is

16 located would be no more than ten -- approximately

17 minutes; would that be correct?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. And there were no photographs taken of

20 his injuries, am I correct in that, at the

21 hospital?

22 A. No to my knowledge there wasn't, no.

23 Q. And there was no videotaping of him at

24 the hospital?

25 A. That' correct.

 

Page 42

1 Q. And did you have video capacity at

2 the -- or do you have portable video cameras?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And did one or more of the officers have

5 those cameras at the hospital that night?

6 A. No.

7 Q. How many video cameras does the --

8 portable video cameras does the Cedar Falls Police

9 have?

10 A. I guess -- clarify. We have video

11 cameras in the car that aren't portable. We have

12 probably one or two that are hand-held that we have

13 available to us.

14 Q. And you didn't ask or think it was

15 necessary to have one of those hand-held cameras

16 brought up to video your interview with Mr. Rokes?

17 A. No.

18 Q. He was not asked to do any of the field

19 sobriety tests; is that correct?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. And you certainly didn't ask him to do

22 any?

23 A. I did not, no.

24 (Discussion of the record, and a recess

25 was taken)

 

Page 43

1 Q. (MR. CORRELL) Mr. Wilson, between you

2 and Officer Venenga, which person would have been

3 in charge?

4 A. Me.

5 Q. How long has Officer Venenga been on the

6 department, approximately?

7 A. Just over probably -- at that point

8 probably just a year.

9 Q. And what is her previous law enforcement

10 experience?

11 A. She was a deputy with the Black Hawk

12 County Sheriff's Department.

13 Q. For approximately how long a period of

14 time?

15 A. Just guessing a year, I think.

16 Q. Before you met with Mr. Rokes, was --

17 had he -- or excuse me. Before you met with

18 Mr. Rokes, did you talk to anybody else in law

19 enforcement at the hospital regarding Mr. Rokes?

20 Any other officers?

21 A. I don't think so.

22 Q. With regard to Officer Venenga, was she

23 in the room with you when you were in there with

24 Mr. Rokes and his wife and Dr. Robitaille?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 44

1 Q. Was she in there the whole time?

2 A. I believe so.

3 Q. With regard to Dr. Robitaille, do you

4 know who he is or did you know who he as prior to

5 that evening?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Had Mr. Rokes received stitches in place

8 by the time you had seen him?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And who is you understanding as to --

11 was it Dr. Robitaille that stitched him up?

12 Isn't it Robitaille? Isn't that the way

13 they pronounce it?

14 Q. I think you're right.

15 A. Okay. Yes.

16 Q. But Dr. Robitaille was still in the room

17 when you fist got there; is that correct?

18 A. For just a sort period, yes.

19 Q. And in that short period of time did you

20 hear Dr. Robitaille make an inquiry to Mr. Rokes,

21 "Have you ever had stitches before?'

22 A. I don't remember.

23 Q. Could he have made that type of a

24 comment during the course of his treatment?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 45

1 Q. That would not have been something you

2 particularly would have been interested in one way

3 or the other?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you walk out to the vehicle with Mr.

6 and Mrs. Rokes to the police car?

7 A. No.

8 Q. What did you do, if anything else, at

9 the hospital after your interview then terminated?

10 A. I returned to the station.

11 Q. With regard to when you got done, had he

12 already taken a preliminary breath test, if you

13 knew?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And were you advised that the

16 preliminary breath test he gave showed less than a

17 hundred?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Based on your experience, wouldn't it be

20 accurate to say that in normal circumstances, if a

21 person gives a test that is less than a hundred,

22 and it is a nonfatality situation, that an OWI

23 charge would not be filed?

24 A. The only part of that statement, if it

25 was a bad PI or a fatality, we usually take it a

 

Page 46

1 step further.

2 Q. Okay. But that is because of the nature

3 of the injury, not because of the test; correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And so if -- say, for instance, based on

6 what you said, if somebody would have gone through

7 a flashing red light, going the speed limit, and

8 there was no accident whatsoever, and they gave a

9 .87, in that circumstance there would not

10 typically be an arrest; isn't that correct?

11 A. On the PBT? Is that what you're

12 saying?

13 Q. On the PBT -- yes.

14 A. If the preliminary breath test indicated

15 under .1, it would be very unlikely we would arrest

16 him.

17 Q. If there was no --

18 A. If there was no other circumstances

19 involved.

20 Q. And wouldn't it be very unlikely also

21 that you would have an arrest if there was

22 subsequent .87 on a blood if there was no accident,

23 no injury, no death?

24 A. That's true.

25 Q. And so what really elevated the

 

Page 47

1 attention to this case was the tragic death of

2 Julie Farrell and injury to the other girl; isn't

3 that a fair statement?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. With regard to Julie Farrell's

6 condition -- did you indicate that she was on some

7 kind of medication herself?

8 A. She stated she was on medication for

9 mono.

10 Q. Did she tell you what that medication

11 was?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Did you ever follow up and attempt to

14 find out through her mother or her doctor what this

15 medication was?

16 A. I did not.

17 Q. Do you know as to whether or not the

18 medication she was on could have any -- had any

19 influence one way or other on her?

20 A. I have no idea.

21 Q. Mr. Wilson, have you taken any

22 measurements from Greenhill and South Main to

23 Greenhill and Highway 58?

24 A. Yes. Well, just from the speedometer on

25 the motor vehicle.

 

Page 48

1 Q. And how far a distance is that?

2 A. Just over three-tenths of a mile.

3 Q. And is there a crest on the hill at

4 South Main or a crown on the hill at South Main and

5 Greenhill?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And would you agree that before you can

8 see the intersection of 58 and Greenhill, you have

9 to be just about at the intersection of South Main

10 and Greenhill? I think I misspoke when I said

11 University. I meant to say Greenhill and 58.

12 Before you can see Greenhill and 58 from Greenhill.

13 you almost have to be at the intersection of

14 Greenhill and South Mail; would that be correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And that because there's a rise,

17 there's a hill.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And so would you say it would be

20 slightly more than three-tenths of a mile of

21 unobstructed visibility to see the light at

22 Highway 58 and Greenhill Road?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And did you make the same type of

25 calculation from -- for the Farrell vehicle as it

 

Page 49

1 would have been proceeding to the south?

2 A. No, I did not.

3 Q. Would you agree that there is probably

4 at least twice as much unobstructed visibility

5 on -- in that direction?

6 A. Pretty close.

7 Q. There are no hills, there that would --

8 A. There's -- no. You come around a bend

9 coming off of University and 00 from around the

10 curve there is -- it's approximately a half a mile

11 before that.

12 Q. In the accident that occurred there the

13 day before, was there anybody injured in that

14 accident?

15 A. I can't say for sure.

16 Q. Are you familiar with the records of

17 that intersection as were accumulated by the

18 Cedar Falls Police Department? By Mr. Berry?

19 A. (Shrugs).

20 Q. Do you have any sense as to whether of

21 not there have been a number of accidents at that

22 intersection since it was opened approximately a

23 year and a half ago?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And is it not considered within the

 

Page 50

1 traffic division a dangerous intersection?

2 A. I can't say for sure. It's been labeled

3 that. I don't know for sure. I don't know the

4 statistics on it.

5 Q. From your experience do you consider

6 that to be a dangerous intersection?

7 A. Not particularly.

8 Q. Isn't it one of the few intersections

9 where it is controlled by a stoplight where there

10 are speeds that high in the city?

11 A. It's one of the few. There's just a

12 couple of them.

13 Q. Is there any other intersection in Cedar

14 Falls that has two streets crossing, one with a

15 45-mile-an-hour speed limit and one with a

16 55-mile-an-hour speed limit, that are controlled by

17 a flashing stoplight?

18 A. The only other one might be Ridgeway and

19 58. I don't know whether the speed limit slows

20 down at that intersection prior to that or not.

21 But it's 55 leading up to that intersection and

22 it's 45 on Ridgeway. That would be the only other

23 one I can think of.

24 Q. And that would be an intersection that

25 would be maybe a mile south of where this accident

 

Page 51

1 took place?

2 A. It would be about that.

3 Q. Okay. Is it correct that you didn't

4 type up your report then that night once you got

5 back to the station?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. And was any part of that that you didn't

8 type it up because at that point in time it was

9 believed that Julie Farrell was going to live?

10 A. Was it because of what?

11 Q. Did that play any role in the deferring

12 of typing it up?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You were notified the next day that

15 Julie Farrell died. Were you at work or were you

16 off work when you got that notice?

17 A. I was off, at home.

18 Q. Did that surprise you?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Disappointing, disturbing to you?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Have you heard information from people

23 involved in the medical community of Sartori

24 Hospital that had Julie Farrell received the proper

25 diagnosis and treatment, she would not have died?

 

Page 52

1 A. From the medical people?

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. I have not from the medical people, no.

4 Q. Have you heard that statement or that

5 rumor?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And who have you heard that rumor from?

8 A. From -- well, I guess it was some of the

9 police officers that were involved.

10 Q. Police officers involved in this

11 accident?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And which officers were these?

14 A. I can't say specifically. I just know

15 there was conversation about it.

16 Q. Did you have those same questions?

17 A. Yes, I did.

18 Q. Did you ever conclude that had she been

19 taken to another hospital earlier, she would not

20 have died?

21 A. Did I conclude this? I guess I had an

22 opinion in the back of my head that that was the

23 case, yeah.

24 Q. And that's an opinion that is fairly

25 commonly shared, not just by you, but other people

 

Page 53

1 in the enforcement, isn't it?

2 A. As a whole in law enforcement? I can't

3 speak for that. But I know a couple of us that

4 were involved in the accident felt that she

5 possibly could have lived if she would have been

6 transported someplace else.

7 Q. Is that how you still feel today?

8 A. I -- yes.

9 Q. With regard to getting this news, was

10 it Captain Lashbrook or do you recall who called

11 you Saturday with the news that she had died?

12 A. I believe Sergeant Olson.

13 Q. I thin you're right. I think you're

14 right. Jeff Olson; right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Do you know why you were contacted as

17 opposed to Venenga or Anderson or somebody else?

18 A. I would assume because of my

19 participation in the accident investigation.

20 Q. So really even though at that time even

21 though Venenga and Anderson had gotten to the scene

22 earlier, they were calling you because of your

23 investigation or because of your seniority?

24 A. Probably both.

25 Q. Between the officers involved in this

 

Page 54

1 case from the night, did you have the senior rank?

2 A. Yes. I -- yes.

3 Q. With regard to the call from Mr. Olson,

4 did you then come down to the police station for

5 the purpose of trying to set up an interview with

6 Mr. and Mrs. Rokes?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And when you left or terminated your

9 conversations with him at the hospital the night

10 before, did you ask them if they would make

11 themselves available for follow-up interviews?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And did they agree to that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Were they cooperative with you?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. When you got down there, were you the

18 person that placed the call to their home?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And did you -- was that a brief phone

21 call?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you ask them to come down and talk

24 to you about what happened the night before?

25 A. Yes.

 

Page 55

1 Q. And at that time you knew that Julie

2 Farrell was dead, did you not?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Did you tell them that on the phone?

5 A. No.

6 Q. And would it be fair to say that that

7 was intentional on your part?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And was that intentional because you

10 didn't want to alarm them?

11 A. Alarm them which way?

12 Q. Alarm them both emotionally and perhaps

13 that they would call a lawyer.

14 A. To be honest with you, I was more

15 concerned about the emotional.

16 Q. Okay. Cause at the hospital would it be

17 fair to say that they both seemed sincerely

18 concerned about how these girls were?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Did you ask them to come down right

21 away?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And did they try to postpone you or put

24 you off in any way?

25 A. Other than maybe I think they had some

 

Page 56

1 child care things to get taken care of.

2 Q. And approximately from the time you

3 called them to the time they arrived, how much time

4 do you think went by?

5 A. Maybe half hour.

6 Q. When they got there, did you give them

7 their Miranda rights first or did you tell them

8 that Julie Farrell died?

9 A. I told them Julie had died.

10 Q. And then I guess it was Officer Venenga

11 who actually spoke to Delonna; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. How did they take that news? What was

14 your observation of Tracy Rokes' reaction when he

15 was told that/

16 A. He was disturbed by it.

17 Q. So that was visibly noticeable to you?

18 A. He -- yes.

19 Q. Tearful in his eyes?

20 A. I don't know if he got tearful, but I

21 could tell that he -- his head went down and he

22 said how sorry he was and that -- I don't remember

23 exactly what he said right now, but --

24 Q. And it's my understanding that that

25 statement -- that you gave them their Miranda

 

Page 57

1 Warnings, and I've got a copy of that, that was

2 signed at 7:47, and the first part of that, is that

3 filled out by you?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Top Part? And evidently the statement

6 which I've seen a copy of shows that you started

7 that at about 7:54 and would have gone 'til about

8 9:12 p.m. on Saturday; correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Was that statement taken at the Cedar

11 Falls Police Department?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And in what room was that taken,

14 Mr. Wilson?

15 A. My statement with Mr. Rokes was taken

16 back in the training/community service section, at

17 my desk at that time.

18 Q. Was it just you and he in the room?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Was that tape-recorded or videoed in any

21 fashion?

22 A. No.

23 Q. And was that your decision?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Have you in the past ever recorded,

 

Page 58

1 tape-recorded, statements you've taken from people?

2 A. Not very often.

3 Q. Have you ever taken videotaped

4 statements from people in the past?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Have you ever taken statements with a

7 court reporter, such as we have her, in the past/

8 A. I don't remember doing that.

9 Q. Would it be fair to say that there was

10 the equipment available to take a video or a

11 tape-recording down at Cedar Falls Police

12 Department on Saturday, if you would have chosen to

13 do that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And there was a video machine that was

16 in place on the early morning hours of Saturday

17 that can be sued for videotaping people who are

18 suspected of OWI; is that correct?

19 A. There's a video camera available to us.

20 Finding an operator is another question sometimes.

21 Q. Okay. Did the Cedar Falls Police

22 Department used to take video of people who were

23 arrested for OWI?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And has that practice been discontinued?

 

Page 59

1 A. No.

2 Q. Are all people who are arrested for --

3 or brought in and given a Breathalyzer -- or not

4 give a Breathalyzer. All people who are arrested

5 for OWI, are they videotaped in Cedar Falls at this

6 time?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Whose determination is that as to when

9 the video is operated?

10 A. As far as the video cameras, the only

11 time they were videotaped is in the field from the

12 camera that's positioned in the motor vehicles,

13 squad cars. I can't recall of a situation down at

14 the station in recent years where we videotaped

15 anybody administering or submitting to field

16 sobriety tests.

17 Q. Are there any videotapes in existence

18 that purport to show Mr. Rokes or his wife on

19 either October 4 or October 5, 1996?

20 A. The only ones that might be is if one of

21 the squads had a video camera going that arrived at

22 the scene. I haven't heard of anyone. But that

23 would be the only camera that would have been

24 available that night.

25 Q. You haven't seen anyone and no one has

 

Page 60

1 told you that there was such a video? Is that

2 correct?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. And are those activated so that they

5 will pick up not just the video, but the

6 conversation of an officer who is out of the car?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. So if somebody is 30 feet in front, you

9 can hear the conversation between that individual

10 and the officer?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Are there any records or any audios or

13 videos that you are aware of regarding Tracy Rokes?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Were there ever any audios or videos

16 that were in place?

17 A. Not to my knowledge. The only other one

18 that might be would be the one in the squad, and I

19 don't know if one of those squads was available

20 that night or not. Cause we only had it in one or

21 two at that time. I --

22 Q. Would it be fair to say, Mr. Wilson,

23 that during the course of this questioning, which

24 was about an hour and a half, that he had all the

25 rights and you would have scrupulously honored all

 

Page 61

1 of these rights had he requested any of them?

2 A. Had he requested them.

3 Q. And you would have honored those?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Sometimes you're anticipating my

6 question and you kind of cut me off a little.

7 A. I'm sorry.

8 Q. It's not that big of a deal for me. But

9 It makes it harder for her.

10 Is is fair to say that he never

11 indicated that he wanted to talk to an attorney

12 during this interview?

13 A. That's correct.

14 Q. And he never asked that the interview be

15 terminated?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And he never asked that -- or refused to

18 answer any specific question that you asked?

19 A. No, he was very cooperative.

20 Q. And as I understand that interview,

21 which I've read, at no point in that interview did

22 you accuse him of being under the influence; is

23 that correct?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. And at no point in that interview did he

 

Page 62

 

1 ever indicate either verbally or in written form

2 that he was under the influence; isn't that also

3 correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And at no point in that interview was --

6 or that statement was the statement about one too

7 many included; is that correct?

8 A. That's correct.

9 Q. Regarding the accident investigation,

10 did you work with Mr. Baskerville or those

11 calculations?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. What I have is basically a two-page

14 report that was signed by Mr. Baskerville. Is

15 there any other report that's been prepared by

16 either you or he regarding that?

17 A. No. Well -- no, I can't remember.

18 Q. What measurements or landmarks did you

19 think were significant in utilizing and calculating

20 the speed?

21 A. I'm going to have to preface this. I

22 have gone through several schools of associations

23 and I'm not nearly as technical on it as what

24 Sergeant Baskerville is. I am familiar with

25 knowing some of the evidence and so forth on the

Page 53

1 street, but basing those calculations and so forth

2 into formulas and stuff, he is way more advanced

3 than what I am.

4 Q. Okay. Were you involved in kind of a

5 role of showing him where the locations were and

6 the marks and familiarizing him with the scenes and

7 the vehicles and the roadway, those types of --

8 A. My preliminary investigation out there,

9 I noted the scuffs and so forth, I plotted the

10 vehicles from their resting positions and so forth,

11 and then I contacted -- a short time after -- well,

12 a few days after that I contacted Phil.

13 Q. Where do you believe the impact was,

14 where the cars collided?

15 A. Where do I -- in the intersection. I

16 guess I'd have to --

17 Q. Do you have with you like a diagram that

18 shows --

19 A. I haven't -- I've got a preliminary one,

20 but I forgot to bring it. It's just a hand sketch

21 of one I had out there at the scene.

22 Q. Okay. If I give you a sheet of paper

23 could you kind of give me a rough drawing --

24 A. Without my measurements -- I have may

25 measurements on that -- it would be very difficult

 

Page 64

1 to do so accurately.

2 Q. Okay. As I understand it, at the

3 intersection there would be three lanes of traffic

4 going from east to west, one next to the right

5 curb, one in the middle, and then a left-turn

6 lane. Am I correct in that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And that on the road -- Mr. Wilson, I'm

9 not going to ask you to draw on this or adopt it as

10 your own, but I'm just trying to get my sense of

11 where you think this accident happened. So what

12 I've very roughly done is drawn an intersection

13 that, from my understanding of having been out

14 there, roughly approximates this intersection. And

15 my question, can you show me by marking -- or not

16 marking, but just on your finger, which lane do

17 you -- in this intersection do you believe the

18 Farrell car was as it approached the intersection?

19 A. this lane right here.

20 Q. The middle -- so-called the middle of

21 those three; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And as the Rokes car approached that

24 intersection, which lane did your investigation

25 lead you to believe he was in?

 

Page 65

1 A. This one.

2 Q. The middle as well?

3 A. (Nods yes).

4 Q. And will you show me with your finger

5 approximately where you believe the collision would

6 have taken place?

7 A. Approximately right here.

8 Q. And would that be an indication that

9 Mr. Rokes would have swerved his car to the left or

10 south?

11 A. Yes. From the impact it indicated that,

12 yes.

13 Q. Now, the Farrell vehicle, is there any

14 indication that that was going anything other than

15 straight at the time?

16 A. I can't say for sure, but there was some

17 indication that she may have very instantly tried

18 to swerve to the right, but --

19 Q. Is it fair to say from the markings on

20 that car that he was her prior to she seeing him?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, it's my understanding that the

23 preliminary calculations that you and Mr. Baskerville

24 were trying to make was speed; am I correct?

25 A. His calculations.

 

Page 66

1 Q. Okay. Were there any other kind of

2 calculations that either the two of you were trying

3 to make in addition to speed?

4 A. Other than platting the point of impact

5 and the resting positions, there wasn't any

6 calculations that I was trying to figure out.

7 Q. And you weren't aware of any other

8 calculations that he was trying to figure out.

9 A. No.

10 Q. Were you aware of the conclusion of the

11 report that came out regarding the speed of

12 Mr. Rokes's car?

13 A. I was given a copy of this.

14 MR. CORRELL: Can I get a copy of that

15 report?

16 MR. WADDING: To look at right now?

17 MR. CORRELL: Well, to keep.

18 MR. WADDING: I'll let you look at it

19 right now, if you want. Is there a hearing on your

20 motion?

21 MR. CORRELL: I don't know.

22 MR. CORRELL: Mr. Wilson, it will be

23 longer, but read the paragraph into this record

24 from the Baskerville report regarding the speed of

25 the vehicles, if you would, please.

 

Page 67

1 A. "Speed of those vehicles id determined

2 from the physical principle of conservation of

3 momentum. For speed determination, the following

4 information is considered: the approach angle of

5 the vehicles to one another, the angle of departure

6 from impact, the after-impact speeds, and the

7 weight of the vehicles. Using this information, a

8 range of speed from both vehicles can be

9 established. Mr. Rokes' vehicle would be 36 mile

10 per hour to 45 mile per hour at impact.

11 Miss Farrell's vehicle would be 49 mile per hour to

12 63 mile per hour at impact, Miss Farrell's was

13 was 36 miles per hour at impact. If Mr. Rokes's vehicle

14 49 mile per hour. If Mr. Rokes' vehicle was 45

15 miles per hour at impact, Miss Farrell's was 63

16 miles per hour."

17 Q. Is there anything in Mr. Rokes's

18 statement that he gave to you on Saturday that you

19 believe to be inaccurate?

20 A. It stated in here, "When I approached

21 the intersection with Main Street, I had a green

22 light." I think that was probably inaccurate.

23 Q. On what do you base that not being

24 accurate?

25 A. Several witness accounts and the traffic

 

Page 68

1 engineer stating that the light switched over at

2 10:00.

3 Q. Okay. But let me say, in his statement

4 he's talking here about the intersection that is

5 up the street three-tenths of a mile.

6 A. Excuse me. I'm sorry. You're right

7 You're right. Okay. Yeah, you're correct. That

8 was South Main.

9 Q. And isn't what he said about the

10 intersection at South Main and Greenhill, don't you

11 know now from your investigation that that would

12 have been correct?

13 A. I can't say for sure, cause I never

14 really specifically asked Lavern to check that.

15 Q. Isn't it fair to say, Mr. Wilson, that

16 as you sit her today at this point in time, you do

17 not know whether Tracy Rokes was under the

18 influence of alcohol at the time of this accident

19 or not? Isn't that a fact?

20 A. That's probably true, yes.

21 Q. With regard to the speed, do you have

22 any estimates of speeds in miles per hour from

23 anybody else other than Mr. Baskerville?

24 A. Firsthand? No, I do not. There's

25 statements indicating that there was some speed,

 

Page 69

1 but that's just what I've said.

2 Q. Where people say, you know, a vehicle

3 seemed like it was going fast type of comment, you

4 mean?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Is there any doubt in your mind that the

7 Farrell vehicle was going over the speed limit?

8 A. Is there doubt in my mind? I can't say

9 for sure.

10 Q. There was evidence in there of -- in

11 Mr. Baskerville's report of a needle slap; is that

12 correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Are you familiar with that language in

15 the report?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Were you involved in any portion of the

18 investigation that involved a needle slap?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And would you explain to me when it was

21 that you first observed that in the Farrell

22 vehicle?

23 A. I went out to examine the vehicles after

24 they were -- a couple days later after being stored

25 at L & M Transmission. I made a kind of cursory

 

Page 70

1 inspection of both vehicles at that time. And one

2 of the things that we learned in accident

3 investigation school was to look -- cause once in a

4 while you'll see a speedometer get stuck on a

5 certain mile per hour from the impact of the

6 vehicles. At that -- I know that it was in the

7 60's. But it also should be noted that the dash

8 was crushed and twisted, so it's -- I was unable to

9 determine if that was -- if the speedometer got

10 locked in because of that or because of the

11 twisting of the metals caused the needle to move.

12 Q. So was the needle when you observed it

13 locked in at a specific speed?

14 A. It as in the 60's.

15 Q. And Mr. Baskerville indicated that he

16 saw a mark that apparently had been made by the

17 speedometer needle on the inside case of the -- or

18 the inside cover of the speedometer; am I correct

19 in that?

20 A. It was.

21 Q. And is that the same thing that you were

22 noticing or is that something different than what

23 you noticed?

24 A. I believe something different.

25 Q. And again by making reference to his

 

Page 71

1 report, would you read that sentence or those

2 sentences where he describes the needle slap?

3 A. "On 2-6-97 I examined the speedometer

4 face plates of both vehicles with various light

5 sources. The purpose of the examination was to see

6 if there's any transfer to the face plate from the

7 speedometer needle upon impact. There were no

8 associated marks found in the Rokes vehicle. The

9 examination was done without removing the clear

10 dust cover. I removed the broken pieces of plastic

11 that were in place around the speedometer of

12 Miss Farrell's car. As I was removing them, the

13 needle fell back to zero. Using various light

14 sources, I could see two marks, one was in the area

15 of 61 mile per hour and the other 67 miles per

16 hour. These marks like came from pieces of

17 plastic form the dust cover and not needle slap."

18 Q. And what you saw is -- when you observed

19 the vehicle at L & M, the needle was actually

20 pinned by the plastic cover?

21 ` A. Yes.

22 Q. And it was pinned somewhere between 60

23 and 69 miles per hour?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Do you believe that that observation

 

Page 72

1 that you made is consistent with the training that

2 you have been given in order to assist you in

3 making speed determination?

4 A. It is -- we've used it in the past.

5 That's the way we were trained. But again I want

6 to say the metal was twisted. We don't know if

7 that caused the needle to move or if it locked it

8 into place.

9 Q. You didn't ask her apparently about her

10 speed at the hospital; is that correct?

11 A. That's correct.

12 Q. Do you see anything inconsistent in any

13 information you have with the Rokes vehicle going

14 the 45-mile-per-hour speed limit and the Farrell

15 vehicle going 63 miles per hour? Are you aware of

16 anything inconsistent with that?

17 A. Again I'd like to say that I'm -- I

18 attended this training several, several years ago

19 and since then I've had very little dealings with

20 accident investigation. I'm not as technical as I

21 once was and I just don't use it anymore. So it's

22 hand for me to say.

23 Q. Would it be fair to say that in this

24 investigation, that Mr. Baskerville was more of the

25 technical person and you were more of the facts

 

Page 73

1 investigatory person in this case?

2 A. The facts?

3 Q. People witnesses --

4 A. Not really. I had very little to do

5 with the people witnesses other than talking to the

6 Rokeses and Miss Farrell.

7 Q. Greenhill Road as it extends to the east

8 goes into Waterloo, does it not?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And does it virtually go by or almost by

11 Brooster's?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. If somebody were following the speed

14 limit, approximately how much time would it take

15 them from the time they left Brooster's to get to

16 Highway 58 and Greenhill?

17 A. Seven to ten minutes maybe.

18 Q. You've never measured that yourself?

19 A. I've never -- I've got a good estimate

20 of the distance, but I don't know --

21 Q. As part of your investigation, did you

22 do that?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Have you met with Mr. and Mrs. Farrell

25 or any of the parents other than the Hill girl that

 

Page 74

1 you mentioned?

2 A. Since that incident?

3 Q. Yes.

4 A. No, I have not.

5 Q. Have you met or been asked to meet with

6 any attorney that they have employed on their

7 behalf?

8 A. No.

9 MR. CORRELL: I think I'm done. I'd

10 like to just talk to my client a moment before we

11 break. We will just step outside.

12 (Recess)

13 (MR. CORRELL) Mr. Wilson, just

14 regarding this car of Mr. Rokes's, it's my

15 understanding that that car was taken from the

16 scent to L & M that night, early morning hours of

17 Saturday morning; is that right? If you know.

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And then he apparently had it taken over

20 to Deery's to see about getting repaired; is that

21 correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And then sometime Saturday, was it

24 Saturday morning or was it sometime before your

25 meeting with him about &:50 that you told him that

 

Page 75

1 the car should not have been released by L & M and

2 it should be taken back to L & M?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. About what time would that have been, do

5 you know?

6 A. Did I contact -- I don't know if I

7 contacted him or not, I --

8 Q. He can't answer. I mean I'm not trying

9 to be a jerk.

10 A. I'm sorry. I guess I'm thinking that

11 one of the officers called me from the PD at home

12 that day and I said that that vehicle can't be

13 released. We have got to have it back.

14 Q. Okay. And to the best of your knowledge

15 was he cooperative in getting that vehicle back so

16 you didn't have to go through any difficulty or any

17 trouble getting it back from Deery's to L & M; is

18 that a fair statement?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you had never done a formal seizure

21 or search warrant on that vehicle; is that a fair

22 statement?

23 A. That's true.

24 Q. MR. CORRELL: I don't have anything

25 else.

 

Page 76

1 MR. WADDING: I just have a couple

2 questions and I would ask Sergeant Wilson if he

3 would take the statement out that he took form

4 Mr. Rokes on October 5.

5

6 CROSS-EXAMINATION

7 BY MR. WADDING:

8 Q. I believe that Mr. Correll has asked you

9 if there was anything that you believe was not

10 accurate information given by Mr. Rokes. Is that a

11 fair characterization of the question Mr. Correll

12 asked?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And I'll refer you to the second page, I

15 believe it would be the second full paragraph. It

16 starts out, "When I approached the intersection

17 with Main Street, I had a green light." I believe

18 that was a point of confusion on the question that

19 Mr. Correll asked; is that correct?

20 A. All right. Yes, there was some

21 confusion.

22 Q. And you don't. have any quarrel with

23 that --

24 A. No.

25 Q. -- at this point. Then the next line

 

Page 77

1 says, "There was little or no traffic at the time

2 on Greenhill road." and did you have any quarrel

3 with that at all?

4 A. No.

5 Q. "And I was approaching Highway 58, I

6 saw the light for east/west traffic." The next

7 sentence says, "I was close enough -- I was close

8 enough to the light that when I saw it, it was

9 green and I thought I had sufficient time to

10 proceed."

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did you have any quarrel with that?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Did you believe that that was inaccurate

15 information?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Mr. WADDING: That's all the questions I

18 have. Thank you.

19 MR. CORRELL: I have no further

20 questions.

updated 12/29/16