Chief Ken Gamble Going 12mph When He Hit Suspects On Business 40

5:41 PM, Jul 27, 2012   |    comments
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Kernersville, NC-- Investigators say charges are still pending in the Kernersville car accident that has the town's police chief on administrative leave.

This week, the NC Highway Patrol released the report on the Business 40 crash that injured two suspects who were handcuffed seated on the side of the road for questioning. 

According to the report, the chief was traveling 50pmh as he approached the scene. 

The report states that when the chief hit Brian Pegram and Anthony Sides, he was riding his brakes at 50mph and was down to 12mph on impact.

The impact threw the men 38 and 48 feet and both were sent to the hospital.

So, how is it possible that at 12mph, the two men were thrown so far?

Experts say reconstructing an actual car accident is a very complicated process. It can take days. And there are variables like type of car, weight, tires, surface and weather to consider.

WFMY reached out to the physics department at UNCG for answers. The head of the department agrees that to the average person these numbers don't make sense. But when you look at the speed and weight of the car, the surface friction on the asphalt, weight and position of the two people, it all comes together.

"The car is a lot more massive than the individual so it can exert a larger force on the individuals and therefore the individuals can move a farther distance,' said Professor Promod Pratap.
Pratap says the reason it doesn't make sense at first is because people tend to think of accidents only in terms of speed but what really makes a difference is speed combined with mass.

He explained that golf is a good way to visualize the impact.

"The head of the golf club is much more massive than the golf ball and so it can exert a greater force on the golf ball. So, even though the golf club is moving much slower than the golf ball you can have the gold ball go much faster," Pratap said.

Pratap also adds that based on his calculations if the impact threw the bodies to about 40 feet from the impact site, the men were thrown at approximately 25 miles per hour.

Sides was treated and released. Pegram was listed in critical condition for a couple of days after the accident. Since that time WFMY News 2 has been unable to get an updated report on him.

Related: Kernersville PD Chief Hits Suspects With Car

Related: Chief Crashes Car Into Handcuffed Suspects


WFMY News 2

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